A nightmare start for the San Diego Padres lineup just got worse, as star third baseman Manny Machado has been placed on the injured list with a fracture in his hand:
Manny Machado seems resigned to going on the IL for the first time since 2014. He said he understands the fractured metacarpal needs to heal. “It’s not like the ankle stuff last year,” Machado said.— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) May 19, 2023
Machado suffered the injury on Monday, when he took a pitch off his hand and was forced to leave the game. Initial X-rays came back negative and the team was hopeful that the All-Star could avoid the injured list with a few days of rest, but further testing revealed a hairline fracture in his third metacarpal bone. The third baseman told reporters it’s the first broken bone he’s suffered in his life, and it’ll be his first IL stint since way back in 2014 — Machado had been among the most reliable players in the game in recent years, playing over 150 games in each of the last seven full seasons while posting an OPS+ below 110 just once over that time.
The Padres have yet to put a timetable on Machado’s return, but any significant absence will be a major blow to a San Diego offense that’s performed well below its payroll so far this season. Their team OPS currently sits just 22nd in baseball, and while Machado had been a big part of that — with just a .654 OPS on the year — his track record suggested that number was set to climb sooner rather than later. Ha-Seong Kim will likely slide over to third base while he’s out, with a combination of Jake Cronenworth and Rougned Odor handling second and the recently recalled Brandon Dixon pitching in at first.