Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has committed his fair share of errors in the field this spring. Is there cause for concern with the regular season less than a week away?
Machado spent all but two games at shortstop in three years in the minors. However, J.J. Hardy plays shortstop for the Orioles in the majors, which led Baltimore to move Machado to third base in 2012. He did a fantastic job in 51 starts, committing only five errors and posting a .967 fielding percentage.
The Orioles were hoping that he would be able to build off of that success in the offseason. Unfortunately, Machado appears to be going backwards as he has committed four errors in 18 games during Spring Training. Also, his .892 fielding percentage is not ideal for someone who will be lining up at the hot corner, especially for a team that has high expectations to reach the postseason for the second consecutive year.
In all honesty, Baltimore should be a little concerned with what they have witnessed, but it is nothing worth making drastic roster moves over. Machado has proven that he can play the position when given the opportunity, and there is no doubt in my mind he will be able to do that again in 2013.
The fact is that 37 total chances are nothing compared to the 151 he had last season at third base. If the sample sizes were bigger and he was putting up the same fielding numbers, then there might be some talk among management. For now, the Orioles must believe that the 20-year old can get the job done.