The Orioles’ Dan Duquette told Ken Rosenthal today that he hasn’t ruled out a demotion for Manny Machado:
“That’s always an option,” said Duquette. “The guy distinguished himself in the big leagues last year. We’d much rather see him develop his skills here. But that’s always an option.”
The demotion, if it comes, could be either for his immature display during the Oakland A’s series or the fact that he’s hitting a mere .229/.283/.336 with four home runs and 11 RBI over 35 games. Or both.
Before he sees any time in the minors, however, he’s going to spend a few days off work. Expect his suspension from MLB to come down as early as this afternoon.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.