Machado's first MLB game in 248 words:
Pregame, Palmer noted defense and ABs against lefties as the niche Machado will be filling. Anyone who thinks this promotion doesn't come with high hopes, expectations and an incredible amount of pressure is insane. Obviously that's not to say Machado isn't equipped to meet the challenge, but make no mistake he is in Baltimore because the front office and the manager of the Major League club expect him to be a contributing force in a playoff push. That doesn't mean "carry the team", but it does mean "be better than what we've had through the first 110-plus games."
Offensively, Manny looked great for a kid making a two-level jump. At various times he was clearly over-matched by Major League sequencing and execution, but that's to be expected. His triple was the same contact point as Wieters' oppo homerun. The distinguishing factors were Wieters' strength, pitch velocity, and Wieters' ability to better incorporate his lower-half. Both hitters showed excellent coverage in driving their respective offerings.
Defensively, Machado should eat up the type of balls he saw -- velocity on the ground in his set-up wingspan (within one-step reach of his position at bat-to-ball contact). This is where his soft hands play-up. I'm really looking forward to watching as he is tested with a wider variety of plays -- he should be fun over there.
We'll check in on Machado again once there is a larger body of work.For now, enjoy the show!