ANAHEIM, Calif. — Orioles manager Buck Showalter usually has an answer for most questions thrown his way, but he didn’t have a quick response for one interesting inquiry this weekend in Anaheim.
Before Saturday’s game, Showalter was asked why he believed Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, the team’s phenom 20-year-old third baseman, isn’t mentioned in the same breath as fellow young phenoms like the Angels’ Mike Trout and the Nationals’ Bryce Harper.
Showalter was stumped. He said he’d really have to think about it.
The easy answer is that Machado didn’t arrive in the big leagues until last August, and by that time, Trout and Harper had already established themselves as fixtures on contending teams.
Also, when the Orioles called up Machado last year, it was mainly to fill the team’s defensive need at third. He hit low in the batting order and the Orioles didn’t necessarily need his offense last season.