Carroll County Times

Orioles Notebook: Machado continues to impress

WASHINGTON - When Manny Machado was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles with the No. 4 pick in the 2011 draft, expectations were high for the 18-year-old shortstop. After he was converted to third base and promoted to the majors in August 2012, it it hasn't taken long for Machado to meet those expectations.

Entering Tuesday, Machado was tied with Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera for the most hits in the majors with 75. Machado had the most doubles (23) in the majors as well. His 23 doubles through 51 games are the most by an Orioles in the Baltimore era (since 1954).

According to STATS, Machado's 75 hits are the most by any player under the age of 21 before the start of June since 21. Prior to Machado, the most had been 20-year-old Ken Griffey Jr.'s 66 in 1990.

And Machado's next home run will be the 13th of his career, which would be the most homers by an Oriole before age 21.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said a big reason for the 20-year-old's success is his mindset.

"He's got a pretty good approach about it," Showalter said. "He doesn't get too high, too low. Very competitive.

"You can tell between at-bats and things, if doesn't do something he thinks he's capable of, he's not real happy."

Machado has been even more impressive on the road, where he became only the second player ever younger than 21 with a streak of five straight three-hit road games, joining Ty Cobb, according to Elias.

Machado has the most road hits in the league with 48.

Showalter added that Machado has learned a lot from his teammates and understands how difficult it is to be successful in the majors.

"He's a curious guy," Showalter said. "I think he's got a real respect for how hard this is to do. He never takes anything for granted."

INJURIES APLENTY: Showalter updated the status of several injured players on Tuesday. Baltimore catcher Taylor Teagarden caught five innings Monday in an extended spring training game. He is expected to catch seven innings today and is close to a rehab assignment.

Second baseman Brian Roberts has begun hitting off a tee and third baseman Wilson Betemit has begun throwing. Minor league second baseman Jonathan Schoop is getting a second opinion on his lower back today.

DOUBLE TIME: Machado is not the only Oriole with a lot of doubles. Chris Davis' 18 and Adam Jones' 17 are also more than the previous best for a Baltimore player through 51 games. The previous high was 16, which was done by Nick Markakis in 2009.

EXPECT THE BEST: Entering Monday, the Orioles were the best in the league in several things. Baltimore's .990 fielding was the best in the AL and second in the majors behind only Arizona's .991.

The Orioles also had been the best in the first inning. According to STATS, Baltimores +24 run differential in the first inning was the best in the majors. The Angels were second at +22.

GOING HOME: Wednesday, the Orioles open up a two-game series at home against the Nationals and begin a five-game homestand. The expected starters are Chris Tillman (4-2, 3.68 ERA) for the Orioles and Jordan Zimmermann (8-2, 1.71) for the Nationals.

Thursday's probables are Freddy Garcia (1-2, 4.61) and Dan Haren (4-5, 5.43).