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The Orioles are not ruling out a Manny Machado demotion

Jun 10, 2014, 12:30 PM EST

Manny Machado Manny Machado

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.

  1. nolanwiffle - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    That would be a mistake.

    • karlkolchak - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Why?

      • nolanwiffle - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        He’ll have plenty of time to get his head straight during his warranted suspension. He can also take hiiting instuction during that time. To me, he’s adequately proven that he’s a major league ball player(who just happens to be mired in his first prolonged slump).

        It’s my opinion that a demotion, at this stage of his career, might be counterproductive. But what the hell do I know?

      • Liam - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        Nolan, over the last calendar year, Machado is batting .254/.288/.381. We’re getting beyond the point where this is just a slump.

      • nolanwiffle - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        Who would you have the Orioles plug in at third who can play the same defense Machado does?

      • Eutaw's Finest - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        @Liam

        You’re disregarding the major knee surgery that happened to fall in the middle of that last calendar year buddy. Makes a HUGE difference. And since when in .254 treated like the Mendoza line? It’s not lights out but it’s not abysmal. Especially give the circumstances coming into this season (missed the first month rehabbing from knee surgery).

      • Liam - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        Eutaw, between June 10 of last year and the injury Machado batted .260/.287/.394. I wouldn’t send him down because he’s still their best 3B thanks to his glove, but I was just trying to point out that offensively, this season looks a lot like the last 2/3 of last season. Explaining away this start as rehab or a slump just ignores the fact that we’re getting a large sample size at this point that suggests Machado isn’t a very good hitter right now.

    • stabonerichard - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      I’d send him down for a chance to regroup.

      Manny’s OPS was below .650 in the 2nd half of 2013, he’s been even worse so far in 2014, and now he’s facing a suspension and is the talk of baseball for all the wrong reasons. This isn’t the type of thing that will just blow over… fans/media can be very petty, so when you give them something to run with like Machado did this past weekend with his spectacular temper tantrum, this stuff is going to linger for a while.

      Getting him out of the limelight would serve both Manny & the O’s well in the long run, IMO.

  2. The Cub Den - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Listen, Machado is probably suffering the same fate that Starlin Castro suffered from last year. Either it’s lack of focus and immaturity, I don’t know, but it was dumb for him to fling his bat like that. He needs to grow up and if that is getting sent down, then so be it. Look how Jeter conducts himself and other players should hold themselves up to his class level.

    http://mlblogscubden.wordpress.com/

    • Andee - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      Ugh, what will you point at when Jeter and all his class goes away?

      • The Cub Den - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        I think there’s a good core out there like McCutchen, Cabrera and Bautista that are the class of the league. I picked out Jeter because he’s retiring.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Look how Jeter conducts himself and other players should hold themselves up to his class level.

      Like when Arod told the truth in that Esquire article, and Jeter responded by cutting off all communication with a former friend. Handle it like that?

      • The Cub Den - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        Yeah, yeah, ok, I forgot about those articles, but then again, I wouldn’t be having a friend on speed dial if it were ARod

        http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2007/news/story?id=2771141

        http://armchairgm.wikia.com/Article:Timeline_of_the_Jeter/A-Rod_feud

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:16 PM

        Jeter changes the radio station when A-Rod’s favorite song, ‘Hollaback Girl’ by Gwen Stefani, comes on before a game.

        Jesus tapdancing Christ, ban the man for life!

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Craig – given all the….”atmospherics” at the moment, wouldn’t Machado have a pretty good case to make that if he is demoted, it effectively is a suspension by the Orioles? And if so, wouldn’t that be the basis for a grievance?

    • spursareold - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      What is “no”?

    • sabatimus - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      Machado would have no case whatsoever.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      BTW – to everyone who ia apparently spazing out – I asked if he would able to file a greivance. Not saying I think he would or should prevail.

    • beachnbaseball - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      Machado has options. Sending him down is an option. He may not like it but he can’t do anything about it. And the MLBPA can’t help him.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Michael Schwimmer filed and unsuccessful grievance against the Phillies, claiming he was sent down because of an injury. He too had options – and was pitching….uhhhh….lousy! But he filed it anyway, and I was wonder if Manny would have an avenue to the same – if he were so inclined

        I guess my question is that – is there such a thing as a grievance over being sent down as a form of punishment

  4. scoobies05 - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    just sending Manny a message. I don’t see how a demotion would make the team better

  5. gbart22 - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Don’t kid yourself sure the “hidden respect rules of baseball” crowd will see a demotion as a victory for the game and yadda yadda yadda but the truth is in the real world if machado was hitting .300 with 15 homers and a bunch of RBI his team would not any team would demote him. If they do demote him it will be only for the fact he’s hitting in the low .200 and they want him to find his swing again.

    • spursareold - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      Exactly.

  6. yahmule - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Unless he’s copping an attitude in the clubhouse that we’re not hearing about, I think this is fairly ridiculous. He’s less than nine months removed from a major knee injury and not yet 22 years old, but he’s not allowed to have a slump? His BABIP is .257 this year. Give him one more bloop single a week and he’s batting .265. Everybody with an ounce of common sense should have expected him to get off to a slow start this year. Now that it’s happening, people want to panic. Nobody could reasonably suggest that Schoop, Flaherty or Lombardozzi would be an upgrade, so unless the only purpose is to humble this kid, then I don’t get it.

    • happytwinsfan - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      Maybe they think he gets his game back faster out of the spotlight. If he comes back immediately after the suspension he’s under the microscope, everyone looking for signs that he has or hasn’t learned his lesson. Instead of being able to focus on his game plan at the plate, he has reporters crowding round him with dumb questions, and is getting heckled by fans. He’s already shown a less than perfect ability to cope with pressure and distractions. Sending him down for a month or so might be a kindness.

      • yahmule - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        He’s a budding star and the future face of the franchise. He better get used to dumb questions and hecklers. He will regard this as the exact opposite of a kindness. I don’t think his game plan at the plate is really being compromised. He’s not striking out appreciably more and his walk rate is improved.

        Not to mention the fact that the team is 1.5 games off the pace for a wild card and the candidates to take over @ third are replacement level or worse.

      • happytwinsfan - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        You’re right, he probably would regard it as the opposite of a kindness. Maybe that’s the real problem. As for him being the future face of the franchise, if I’m the O’s I’m having second thoughts about that.

  7. lazlosother - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    I don’t think he’ll be sent down, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world either. Right now Manny is pretty much replacement level himself. He is hitting to an OPS + of 71, with an OBP under .300 and slugging less than .340. This isn’t just a little slump, it’s a carry over from last season. His last 60-65 games in 13 were not good at the plate. Getting time out of the spotlight to get his swing in order may help. His recent behavior could indicate that the frustration is taking a toll. When he does come back the press will have a target painted on him. I think the O’s could explain this one to him without making it seem like punishment.

    Bottom line is he’s a real talent, and if the O’s think a two week stint in triple a to work things out would help, they should pull the trigger.

  8. rcali - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    A little humility in the minors usually cures the young talented players who get a little high on themselves in the bigs.

  9. mazblast - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    “So you’re Manny Machado, big-time player, huh? Great. Now here’s your daily AAA meal money, get your bags off the bus because no one’s going to do it for you, and get to your room, Name Player.”

  10. tomtravis76 - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    He is not getting sent down, unless you want to tear down this team in June. Trade demands will get leaked, the behind the scenes chirping between agents, management and clubhouse will be a tremendous distraction. The young man made a bad decision in the heat of a moment after another guy just threw a 90+ mph baseball at his knee, that he just came back from off season surgery.

    Buck showalter has been around the bags a few times, he is the right guy to use this as a teaching moment for Manny as he continues to develop as a professional ball player.

    Manny Machado, this week’s most awful representation of man kind ,according to the over the top internet.

  11. randygnyc - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    COPO- you don’t know the personal dynamic that was at play there. Like Braun lied to the faces of many of his friends and peers, it is likely that Arod treated Jeter in a similarly dishonest fashion. Its one thing lying to the press and letting a friend/colleague down and it’s another lying right to their face. Maybe Jeter even stuck his neck out for him. Knowing how Jeter has handled himself for nearly 20 years, he gets the benefit of the doubt

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      COPO- you don’t know the personal dynamic that was at play there.

      Except that’s Jeter’s m.o. Once you cross him, you’re out of his life forever. He pulled the same thing with Chad Curtis when Curtis went after Jeter during a scuffle with the Mariners. Curtis didn’t appreciate Jeter standing next to Arod laughing while the teams were not hitting each other.

      Maybe Jeter even stuck his neck out for him.

      You mean like how Jeter stood up at a press conference when Giambi partially admitted taking PEDs? Jeter was mysteriously absent when Arod made the same confession.

  12. campcouch - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    I can see him taking this as a slight…along with his contract renewal. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him walk over something petty.

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