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Zach Britton ruptures Achilles, out at least six months

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Ken Rosenthal reports that Orioles closer Zach Britton ruptured his right Achilles tendon during an offseason workout yesterday. He’ll have surgery tomorrow and he’ll be on the shelf for at least six months.

The Orioles had been considering trading Britton, who will become a free agent next offseason. Either way, though, this is a tremendous blow, as he’ll he likely not pitch at all in the first half.

Britton put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in an injury-shortened 2017 season. The year before he saved 47 games. He’s been one of baseball’s top closers for the past four years.

Manny Machado, batting second, playing shortstop in his Dodgers debut

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The biggest news of the All-Star break — even bigger than the All-Star Game itself — was the trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers. We talked about it for days, but now the talking is done: Machado is playing shortstop and is batting second in his Dodgers debut this evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Machado is expected to play a little third base for the Dodgers, too, but with Justin Turner still out with a bum hop, Machado will play his preferred position. It’s not the one he plays as well, but that’s another topic altogether and is, eventually, going to be Dave Roberts’ problem.

Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBI on the year. Those numbers all get set back to zero now that he’s in the National League, however. Tonight he begins compiling new numbers.