SAN DIEGO — Things went from bad to worse for the Padres’ offense on Wednesday.
Third baseman Manny Machado was diagnosed with a broken metacarpal bone in his left hand after being hit by a pitch Monday night. Initial X-rays were negative, but further tests revealed what manager Bob Melvin described as “a small fracture”.
It’s unclear if Machado will need time on the disabled list, and he will be reevaluated Friday after a day off Thursday.
“I don’t know how my body is going to heal,” Machado said. “So you have to take it day by day and see what happens. I hope to come back after this day off and be much better.”
Both Melvin and Machado expressed some hope that Machado could avoid a trip to the disabled list. Machado, of course, is proud of his health and hasn’t spent a day in IL since 2014. But he acknowledged the nature of this injury was different and a potential trip to IL could be out of his control.
Machado suffered the injury after being hit on the left hand by a Brad Keller slider in the Padres’ win over the Royals on Monday. After a brief stay in the game, Machado was recalled and was not in the lineup in Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s losses.
However, during that time, Machado announced some significant improvements.
“The swelling is down a lot,” the right-handed slugger revealed. “I definitely have a higher range of motion today.”
It’s a blow to the Padres, who have underperformed for much of the year. Machado was among those who struggled at the plate. He posted a .231/.282/.372 line in 40 games.
However, Machado is one of the scariest hitters in baseball when he’s at the top of his game. Despite high expectations, it’s a significant loss for a club that ranks in the bottom 10 in most attacking categories.
“All teams suffer significant injuries and casualties,” Melvin said. “We have enough key players to overcome that. We just didn’t do it.
The Padres lost their first two games without Machado against the last-place Royals, including an ugly 4-3 loss on Wednesday afternoon in which the offense put 12 men on base.
“It’s definitely been a tough stretch for us,” Machado said. “I definitely want to be out there for this team to win anyway. It’s annoying. It’s annoying. It’s not ideal for us right now.”