When Orioles third baseman Manny Machado left Monday's game against the Rays, the worst was assumed. He grimaced in pain and left the field on a stretcher after suffering a gruesome left knee injury.
The 21-year-old third baseman, widely recognized as one of the top defensive players in MLB, ended the season with 14 home runs, 71 RBIs and 51 doubles, which were good for second-best in the league.
The Orioles entered Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays five games out of the second AL wild-card spot, and without Machado, their difficult road back to the playoffs will be significantly tougher. However, Baltimore might count avoiding a more serious injury to its young third baseman as victory enough as the season winds down.
Reds: Cueto could be No. 1 starter in postseason
After missing three months with strained muscles in his pitching shoulder, Johnny Cueto may return to the No. 1 slot in the Reds' rotation for the postseason.
The Reds entered Tuesday night tied with the Pirates for the top wild-card spot and two games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. With five games remaining in the season, the Reds end their season with a three-game series against the Pirates, with Cueto slotted to start the final game of the year this Sunday. Baker will face a dilemma of sorts as to whether or not he starts Cueto on Sunday or saves him for the potential wild-card matchup.
In his two appearances since returning from the DL, Cueto has pitched 12 innings, allowing just two runs and eight hits while totaling 10 strikeouts.
Cardinals: Holliday misses third straight game
St. Louis leftfielder Matt Holliday missed the Cardinals' Tuesday night matchup with the Nationals with a stiff back, according to FSMidwest, via HardBallTalk.
This will mark the third straight game Holliday has sat out, which could be a problem for the Cards as they try to seal the NL Central division title. St. Louis currently has a two-game lead over the Reds and Pirates. They are also currently dealing with the absence of first baseman Allen Craig, who sprained his foot earlier this month and whose status remains unclear going forward.
The bigger question here is whether Holliday will be back for the postseason. His 20 home runs and 91 RBIs are both ranked second on the team this season, and without his offensive firepower, the Cards' offense could struggle.