The Baltimore Orioles finally got their young phenom back last week when Manny Machado returned from a knee injury he suffered late last season. However, even after he tore the cover of the ball in single-A, fans have to be patient with Machado. After all, his teammates have been playing in meaningful games for over a month, and he’s just recently returned.
During his rehab assignment, Machado looked like he’d been playing baseball all offseason long. In only 12 at-bats, Machado got eight hits (four doubles) and drove in two runs. That performance, along with his fantastic 2012 and 2013 seasons, set expectations high. Some expected Machado to make an immediate impact.
So far, he hasn’t made an immediate impact. Machado hasn’t looked like himself in the field, committing a pair of errors already and missing some balls that he would have gotten to last season. At the plate, he hasn’t amazed anyone yet. In four games, Machado is hitting only .176 and has yet to drive anyone in.
However, that should be expected. Machado made such a huge impact straight out of the minor leagues in 2012 that people expect more from him. Most players don’t come up from double-A and make themselves superstars overnight, and Machado did. Most players don’t magically heal from injuries and don’t miss a beat when they return either. So, Machado shouldn’t be blamed for being “normal” for once in his career.
Give it time. The Orioles will once again have their superstar third baseman back to 100 percent before you know it.