Manny Machado suffers knee or leg injury at first base (GIF)

Manny Machado leg knee injuryBaltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was carted off the field at Tropicana Field on Monday after suffering a left leg (likely knee) injury running out a ground ball in the seventh inning.

Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Tim Beckham committed an error on the play, allowing Machado to reach base. But the Orioles youngster stepped on first awkwardly and appeared to injure his left knee or leg on the play. He went down and was carted off the field.

Even though Machado went down to the ground in the field of play, the umpires ruled he was not trying to advance to second and gave the Orioles a pinch-runner as a replacement.

Machado is only 21 and one of the finer young players in the game. Often overshadowed by Bryce Harper and Mike Trout when it comes to discussing the best young players in baseball, Machado was having a tremendous season for the O’s. In addition to playing superb defense, Machado had 51 doubles and 14 home runs this season.

This may be a devastating setback for the Orioles and one of their franchise cornerstones. We truly hope he makes a quick recovery.

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Manny Machado goes Brooks Robinson on play in the field (Video)

Manny Machado continues to impress for the Baltimore Orioles, and this time the 21-year-old showed his talent with a brilliant play in the field.

Manny MachadoNew York Yankees third baseman Luis Cruz hit a grounder down the third base line in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game that should have easily gone for an infield single, but Machado robbed him. Machado tried to field the ball with his backhand, bobbled it, stuck with it, scooped up the ball, and made a throw from about 10-15 feet in foul territory across the diamond to get Cruz at first all while his body was carrying him towards the dugout. It was a sensational play, and it reminded many of the play defensive wizard Brooks Robinson made in the 1970 World Series.

Our buddy and noted Orioles fan Gordon Dixon put Machado and Robinson’s plays together in one cool GIF:

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Manny Machado is on pace to set the MLB doubles record

Manny MachadoManny Machado does not get the same recognition as Bryce Harper or Mike Trout, but he probably deserves to be mentioned in the same conversations.

Machado, who turns 21 next week, is enjoying tremendous success in his first full MLB season. The Baltimore Orioles youngster homered and doubled off New York Yankees ace Hiroki Kuroda on Sunday and is now batting .321 on the season.

Though his six home runs won’t blow you away, his league-leading 38 doubles should.

Through 83 game this year, Machado has 38 doubles, which is 12 more than Yadier Molina, who is second in the majors. Machado is on pace to hit 74 doubles, which would beat the MLB single-season record of 67 set by Earl Webb in 1931. Webb set the record in 151 games played as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Even if you take away the 11 extra games Machado has the opportunity to play, he would still be on pace for 69 doubles, which would also top Webb.

Only six players in MLB history have hit 60-or-more doubles in a season, and all of the seasons were achieved between 1926 and 1936. Todd Helton, with 59 doubles in 2000, has come the closest among recent players to hitting 60 doubles.

Machado was the No. 3 overall pick by the Orioles in 2010. He was taken two picks behind Harper, who went first overall. Machado is three and a half months older than Harper and has been on a similar development schedule as the Nationals phenom. Like Harper, Machado played in the majors last year, though he was called up in August, four months after Harper made his MLB debut. Machado hit .262/.294/.445 in 51 MLB games last year and displayed incredible baseball instinct. A shortstop in the minors, Machado was switched to third base when he was called up because the Orioles already had JJ Hardy at short. He began making incredible plays like this one:

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Jim Leyland is competing with Manny Machado for doubles lead

jim-leylandDetroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland is one of the most entertaining managers in baseball, mainly because he is so old school. People lose their filter as they get older and are willing to say whatever is on their mind. Leyland is worse.

On Monday, the 68-year-old two-time Manager of the Year was asked how his team is prepared to handle Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado. The 20-year-old third baseman is off to a phenomenal start this season, batting .324 with five homers and 37 RBI. He also leads Major League Baseball in doubles with 33 — 10 more than the next closest player. That’s fine with Leyland, because he’s leading the majors in his own category. Via Hardball Talk:

Would you expect anything less from the guy who wears the same underwear during winning streaks and kisses his pitchers on camera? You probably don’t do that stuff without doubling down on the vodka and scotch.

H/T SI Hot Clicks