Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado should not play shortstop
As FanFest approaches, there are several big questions about the 2018 Baltimore Orioles season.
One of the biggest (after who will pitch for the Baltimore Orioles) is where will Manny Machado play. After several seasons at third base, he is asking to return to his favorite position.
Machado played shortstop during his short time in the minor league, but was moved to third base due to J.J. Hardy‘s hold on the position. Now that Hardy is no longer on the team, Machado wants his favorite spot back.
What about Beckham?
There is a problem, though. The Orioles signed Tim Beckham to play shortstop and he did a fine job of it in 2017. Beckham may not be as good a defender as Machado, but not many people are. In fact, as a Birdland shortstop, Beckham isn’t bad at all.
More from Orioles News
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
With all of the talk of Machado being traded and moving at the end of 2018, the Orioles should consider who they want to be the long-term shortstop. If they shouldn’t put Machado there just because he wants to be there. Tim Beckham has played short for the majority of his career and he is under team control for several more years. If he was signed to play short, then he should play short.
Go with the long-term player
If Machado is leaving, Buck Showalter should keep him right where he has been during his time with the Orioles. Beckham worked hard in 2017 to improve his work at shortstop, taking pointers from J.J. Hardy. With the Orioles, Beckham’s range per game was 4.51 at shortstop in 49 games. Machado last played shortstop in 2016 and his range per game was 4.47.
If Machado plays shortstop, the Orioles have even more problems then they already have. Beckham has not spent much time at third base – 52 innings. So, Showalter might not have the confidence to put Beckham there. So, the Orioles would need to find someone to play third base and move Beckham or trade him. The team already has enough spots to fill.
Next: Jarrod Dyson would be a good choice for RF
Machado should continue doing what he has done for the last six seasons. He is a good third baseman. If Machado is going to be an Oriole for long, the Orioles should let the guy who will be with the team (Beckham) keep his spot.