Jaffe: Manny Machado has been fine

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs on July 2, 2019:

On the heels of the record-setting free agent contract that he signed in February, Manny Machado’s career with the Padres began inauspiciously. He hit just .236/.325/.368 in March and April, and as recently as June 12 was slugging less than .400. Since then, he’s been just about the hottest hitter in baseball, and it appears that he’s turned his season around.

Off the bat, it’s worth remembering that this hasn’t been a typical season for Machado. The 26-year-old superstar agreed to terms on his 10-year, $300-million deal with the Padres on February 19, officially signed two days later, and thus got a late jump on spring training. He didn’t make his Cactus League debut until March 2, a full week into the exhibition season, and it’s fair to wonder if he was fully in shape to start the regular season. He struck out in 25% of his 120 plate appearances in March and April, a figure more than 10 points higher than last year’s 14.7%, and more than eight points above his career 16.4% mark. His 88 wRC+ for the period was the first time he left the gate with a below-average month; last year, he sizzled at a 157 wRC+ clip (.361/.448/.676) in March and April.

Read the full article here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/manny-machado-has-been-fine/

Originally published: July 4, 2019. Last Updated: July 4, 2019.