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Manny Machado Will Shift To Shortstop For Orioles In 2018

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Though he won’t be changing teams, Baltimore Orioles slugger Manny Machado will be changing positions in 2018.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Machado will move to shortstop, his natural position, in 2018.

“He’s going to play shortstop,” confirmed Showalter on Saturday at Orioles FanFest on Saturday.

Tim Beckham will trade positions with Machado, sliding from short to third on the diamond. Baltimore acquired Beckham from the Tampa Bay Rays during last year’s trade deadline, and he hit .306 with 10 homers in 216 at-bats for the Orioles down the stretch.

“I’m open to (moving to third base), especially if it helps the team,” said Beckham during FanFest to MLB.com. “The end goal is to win ballgames and we don’t want to lose sight of that. I don’t want to make this a big deal. I’ll just transition over there, continue to make the plays and be consistent.”

Beckham, 28, has only five career starts at the hot corner, and none since 2016, according to BaltimoreBaseball.com’s Paul Folkemer.

Despite being drafted as a shortstop by the Orioles in 2008, Machado has appeared in only 52 games (45 in 2016) there during his six years with Baltimore.

J.J. Hardy has been the primary shortstop for the Orioles in his years as Machado’s teammate, but his departure for free agency opened up the opportunity for the change.

“Manny’s basically played shortstop in the shift for three or four years,” said Showalter. “I think we’re moving Manny back to his natural position. And Tim’s been playing a lot of places. So I know how important Manny is to our team, and I think he can be the most impactful there, especially with the loss of J.J.”

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Machado has expressed a desire to play shortstop as long as he’s been part of the Orioles’ organization.

“He always has (been interested), since the day he signed,” said Showalter back in December. “To say that Manny and I haven’t had conversations about it over the years, I wouldn’t be truthful.”

American League

Rays Recall Austin Meadows

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The Tampa Bay Rays have recalled outfielder Austin Meadows to their active roster, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Tompkin.

In addition to Meadows, right handers Austin Pruitt and Chih-Wei Hu, along with lefty Hoby Milner, will be joining the big league roster.

Meadows, 23, posted a  .292/.327/.468 line over 165 plate appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this season, prior to being sent over in exchange for starting pitcher Chris Archer.

 

 

 

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American League

Orioles’ Adam Jones Discusses Vetoed Trade, Free Agency

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Baltimore Orioles veteran outfielder Adam Jones has seen the organization undergo a major rebuild, and have traded away pieces to start from scratch. Jones was expected to be traded but it has been reported that the veteran exercised his 10-and-5 rights to veto a trade that would’ve sent him from Baltimore to the Phillies shortly before the non-waiver trade deadline.

“It just wasn’t right for me” Jones said, during an interview with Sara Perlman of MASNsports.com.

“I was playing center field at the time, and they wanted me to go play right field and platoon. That was the situation there, and it’s understandable. That’s how their roster was constructed, and that’s National League ball — double-switch and all that kind of stuff. … It wasn’t the right move for me, especially going into free agency. I’m not going into free agency looking like I’m [Nolan] Arenado, [Manny] Machado or [Bryce] Harper — obviously not — but I want to continue to create and maintain my stock. Going there to platoon, obviously in a good environment, a winning environment, would’ve hurt me in the long run. If I was 36, 37, a little older and toward the end of it all, of course — that would’ve been a very ideal and smart move, because it’d make sense. … I wish the Phillies the best, because I believe they have a really good team.”

Jones also discussed his pending free agency, adding, “Whoever wants me to run around [in the outfield] for them, whether it’s center, right, left, I could care less. I just want to play.”

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American League

Yankees Activate Aaron Judge

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The New York Yankees have activated slugger Aaron Judge for tonight;s game, manager Aaron Boone said, according to SNY’s Andy Martino.

Judge has not been cleared to hit in a live game, he will be able to play in the field and run the bases while he finished his preparations for his full return. Although Judge isn’t fully back, this step is welcomed for a Yankees team that his been dreadful at the plate for over a month, and has seen their lead for the top Wild Card spot dwindle.

 

 

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