UNITED STATES—Newly acquired Manny Machado played his first game as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, July 21. The Dodgers acquired the shortstop in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, July 18.
Machado’s first game as a Dodger was against the Milwaukee Brewers. Machado went 2/3 on base hits and was walked twice. According to ESPN, he was the first player to have four base hits in their first Dodgers game since Rafael Furcal in 2006. His first hit was a single into right field in the top of the 1st inning and his second hit was a single into centerfield in the top of the 7th. Machado was walked in the top of the 3rd and 5th innings. The Dodgers won the game 6-4.
Machado, a four time All-Star and Miami native, is perceived as one of the best shortstops in all of baseball. Machado previously played with the Orioles, who are currently last place in the American League. The shortstop increases the Dodgers’ chances of returning to the World Series.
During his introductory press conference with the Dodgers organization, Machado announced that he would change his number from 13 to 8. “No. 8, I wanted to change up, new beginning, new journey, new team, so I wanted to go that route, and I have to throw an athlete out there. Huge Kobe fan growing up, dog’s name is Kobe, so that had a little bit to do with it as well, along with the new beginning,” said Machado.
The Dodgers are currently in first place in the West division of the National League. With the addition of Machado, they may be able to increase their lead in the division.
Machado has a career batting average of .283. He has 162 home runs, and 471 runs batted in (RBI) for his career. It has not been determined if Machado, who is an upcoming free agent, will re-sign with the Dodgers after the season’s end. A successful 2018-2019 campaign would help their chances of retaining the athlete.