This story was excerpted from AJ Cassavell’s Padres Beat publication. To learn the complete publication, click on right here. And subscribe to get it usually in your inbox.
Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and the Cardinals come to city this week, which implies now could be pretty much as good a time as any to ignite that Nationwide League MVP debate.
The Padres, in fact, have a critical candidate of their very own in Manny Machado. And amongst all the first contenders — Machado, Goldschmidt, Arenado and the Dodgers’ trio of Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and Trea Turner — it’s Machado who has executed it with out the assistance of a fellow MVP candidate within the beginning lineup.
“It’s not solely numbers-wise,” mentioned Padres supervisor Bob Melvin. “Simply type of who he’s — posting up and taking part in daily, taking part in harm, getting large hits. … He’s most likely as beneficial as any participant on any group.”
With simply over two weeks left to play, Goldschmidt is the presumed favourite, and it’s straightforward to see why. He’s having a spectacular season, hitting .322/.411/.599, whereas main the NL in bWAR and fWAR.
However Machado’s case shouldn’t be ignored — significantly if he can end robust, serving to carry the Padres to their first full-season playoff berth since 2006. Machado is batting .296/.365/.531 whereas taking part in his common excellent protection at third base. Plus, there’s one other issue that Machado’s teammates need to see depend towards his MVP case:
“It’s robust to prime what Goldschmidt’s doing, and Freddie’s having an unbelievable 12 months,” mentioned right-hander Joe Musgrove. “However [it’s about] what Manny’s executed on either side of the ball — the offense, the protection — and getting by means of the accidents and stuff that he had this 12 months. It’s onerous to make the individuals who make the selections on who wins awards perceive all of that. However all of us know and noticed what he went by means of.”
What Machado went by means of was a gruesome-looking ankle damage in Colorado in June — the extent of which he nonetheless hasn’t publicly disclosed. The group known as it a sprain. Initially, the Padres feared Machado could be out for months. As a substitute, he was again 10 days later.
If Machado doesn’t win MVP, it would finally be due to that damage. When he returned, he performed harm. And he struggled, hitting .202 with a .694 OPS in July — simply his worst numbers for any month.
However the truth is: He performed. The Padres didn’t have Fernando Tatis Jr., and their infield choices had been skinny. They didn’t have Juan Soto, Josh Bell and Brandon Drury within the lineup but. Frankly, the group wanted each little bit of Machado’s .694 OPS and his glovework in July — even when it meant his numbers took a critical hit.
“It’s all in regards to the group for him,” Musgrove mentioned. “I don’t assume he’d ever sit out longer to verify he’s 100% so he might proceed on his tempo. It was extra about getting again and serving to us win video games.”
Stated Jake Cronenworth: “He’s the man we are able to lean on. Identical to, I assume, the Cardinals have Goldy or different groups have their guys. We have now Manny to lean on. After we really want someone, that’s our man.”