Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has been suspended five games by Major League Baseball due to his role in a dustup with the Athletics on Sunday, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has confirmed. Machado is appealing the suspension.
Machado received an inside pitch from A's reliever Fernando Abad and then tossed his bat out into the field of play in what was pretty clearly a reaction to the also-clear purpose pitch. The benches cleared while Machado and Abad were both ejected. Abad has only been fined for his role in the incident.
The incident had roots from Friday night, when Machado was tagged by A's third baseman Josh Donaldson and fell down. Machado thought the tag was too rough and slammed down his helmet, which set off a benches-clearing gathering.
Those actions were referred to as a "disgrace to baseball" by A's catcher Derek Norris.
Machado can keep playing until his suspension appeal is heard or dropped. In the meantime, his struggles on the field are worth discussing. After finishing ninth in AL MVP voting, leading the AL in doubles and winning a Platinum Glove for being the best defender in the AL last season, Machado is hitting just .229/.283/.336 (71 OPS+) this season.
In fact, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette told Fox Sports Tuesday that a demotion to the minors was an option, though the club is still hoping he can work through his issues at the big-league level.