BALTIMORE – For the second time in his career, Manny Machado is the American League Player of the Week.
Machado batted .458 in the week ending June 14. He was 11-for-24 with nine runs scored, two home runs, a double and five RBIs.
“It feels good. It was a good week for the team. It was mostly a team thing,” Machado said.
The Orioles won five of six games during the week.
“Team was doing well. We were all doing well, and if it wasn’t for my teammates or my guys getting on first, it wouldn’t have happened. It was overall a good week,” Machado said.
It’s the first time he won the award on his own. In Aug. 2012, his first week in the major leagues, Machado shared it.
Early last month, manager Buck Showalter moved Machado to the leadoff spot, where he’s batted .294 in 40 games.
“It’s a win-win. You get to more at-bats, you get to see more pitches. I think it’s helped me out a little bit. Becoming a hitter, learning how to hit in many situations and learning the game a little bit, so it’s been fun hitting leadoff,” Machado said.
Showalter has often said that in the absence of a conventional leadoff man, Machado was his best choice. He said he’s even considered Chris Davis in that role, but he likes how Machado has adapted to the change.
“The more he does it, it seems like he’s running a little more, bunting a little more. He’s taking on the attributes of a leadoff guy, by osmosis,” Showalter said.
After his second knee surgery in less than a year, Machado is playing freely. Showalter remarked on Monday that he sees a better Machado.
“He’s running better than he ever has as an Oriole,” Showalter said.
Machado, happy to be injury-free has 11 home runs and 30 RBIs, and he’s the only Oriole to play in every game.
“Just playing, this is a blessing. Me here being healthy and going out there playing the game you love every day, that’s not something you can take for granted. Every day you step out there you have to represent the uniform you have across your chest and represent your city, your teammates for the most part and just keep playing,” Machado said.
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