Machin has made the Athletics' Opening Day roster, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. The Rule 5 draft pick had done plenty to impress back in spring training, and he was able to continue making a strong enough case during summer camp to nail down a spot. Machin is expected to occasionally work into a second-base rotation with Tony Kemp, Franklin Barreto and Chad Pinder, but he also has the ability to fill in all over the rest of the infield.
Machin remains a strong candidate to see playing time at second base this coming season despite a logjam at the position, Alex Coffey of The Athletic reports. "Recently, (Vimael) Machin is a machine. His at-bats are terrific right now," manager Bob Melvin said. For most of spring training and the subsequent three-month-plus shutdown, the prevailing wisdom was that Franklin Barreto and Tony Kemp would operate in a platoon at the keystone on the majority of days. The trade of Jorge Mateo to the Padres then seemed to clear a path for Machin to be the third option while also filling in occasionally elsewhere, but Melvin recently clarified the situation isn't as cut and dried. The Athletics skipper confirmed earlier this week that Chad Pinder will also see time at second, and he heaped plenty of praise on both Barreto and Kemp in his comments to reporters Monday, adding that there may not be a "final choice" for the position at any point during the season. For his part, Machin's impressive summer camp, which is an extension of a strong Cactus League stint that saw him hit .333 (10-for-30), his ability to also man all three outfield spots and Melvin's comments all appear to have the versatile 26-year-old in an excellent position to secure an Opening Day roster spot.
Machin appears to have even greater job security with the trade of Jorge Mateo to the Padres on Tuesday, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. Machin's quest to go from Rule 5 pick to a potential Opening Day roster spot received a boost with the move of Mateo, with whom he was in a heated battle when spring training was suspended. Mateo's elite speed notwithstanding, Machin arguably had pulled even with him by hitting .333 over 15 Cactus League games and demonstrating an ability to fill in all over the infield. The easing of a logjam at second base via the trade -- where Franklin Barreto and Tony Kemp still project to primarily split time -- appears to leave Machin with solid job security entering summer camp, especially with rosters expanded to 30 players for the first two weeks of the regular season.
Machin is projected by Melissa Lockard of The Athletic to make the expanded Opening Day roster. Machin was trending toward being one of the team's final cuts, if not snagging the 26th and final roster spot outright, when spring training was suspended. With teams allowed 30-man rosters for the first two weeks of the campaign, the versatile 26-year-old now has exponentially more job security in Saxon's view. Machin is lauded for both his glove and sharp eye at the plate, with both on display during Cactus League play earlier this spring.
Machin, who's competing for the second base job, was impressive while filling in for a resting Matt Chapman at third base during a Cactus League win over the White Sox on Tuesday, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. Gallegos notes Machin made a particularly noteworthy play when he tracked down a Nick Madrigal chopper in the first inning and fired a perfect throw over to first base for the out. Manager Bob Melvin acknowledged Machin doesn't have "a ton of range", but he also praised the 26-year-old for getting to balls wherever he's played on the field. Machin also enjoyed another productive day at the plate against Chicago -- he went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run -- and is now hitting .318 across nine spring contests. If Machin can continue to prove capable of offering solid defense at multiple positions, his chances of nabbing an Opening Day roster spot will naturally only increase, especially because his primary competitors for the keystone job, Jorge Mateo and Tony Kemp, are also hitting well early.
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