After two years spent at Triple-A, Dixon Machado finally got the chance to spend an entire season in the majors. However, with Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler still in Detroit, the 25-year-old infielder was stuck filling a utility role. He managed to hold his own at the dish when he did hit the field. Machado struggled in April and September, but hit at an excellent clip from May through August, compiling a .327/.358/.406 slash line despite sporadic playing time during the middle four months of the campaign. It was an empty average, with Machado offering virtually no power, and his defense graded out poorly, but Machado has a little speed and could run more in 2018. Kinsler was traded to the Angels in December, so Machado now appears to be first in line for reps at second base.
The Tigers activated Machado from the paternity list Friday. Machado missed the last three games following the birth of his child, but he is back with the team for the weekend. Machado started five games in a row prior to departing the team, but he will not be in the starting lineup for Friday's contest.
Machado was placed on the paternity list ahead of Tuesday's game against the Indians, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports. Machado will step away from the team for a few days to witness the birth of his second child. Look for him to rejoin the Tigers on Friday, but with Jose Iglesias (personal) expected back before then, Machado will slide back into a utility role.
Machado went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Saturday's win over the White Sox. Machado is batting .301 this season, but this was his first multi-hit effort since July 2, as he simply doesn't play that often. Machado's versatility and defensive prowess makes him a useful reserve for the Tigers, but unless he starts receiving more regular playing time, he's not really on the fantasy radar in mixed leagues.
Machado will start at shortstop and bat eighth Monday against the Pirates. Machado will pick up a second straight start at shortstop with Jose Iglesias (personal) away from the team following a death in the family. It's unclear when Iglesias will be reinstated from the bereavement list, so Machado could be in store for a few more starts during the series with Pittsburgh.
Machado will play second base and bat leadoff Sunday against the Astros. The starting assignment comes as a result of Ian Kinsler getting the day off for rest, but it sounds like Machado will be in store for some expanded playing time over the final two months of the season. Manager Brad Ausmus told Jason Beck of MLB.com on Sunday that Machado will see more playing time down the stretch regardless of the Tigers' roster composition following Monday's trade deadline, as the organization is eager to assess the 25-year-old's long-term outlook with the big club. Given that Kinsler is bound for free agency after the season, he would seemingly be most susceptible to losing out on starts periodically to Machado, who may also find at-bats at shortstop or third base.