Padres’ Manny Machado suffers sprained ankle vs. Rockies; X-rays come back negative


San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado exited Sunday’s loss against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning after suffering a sprained ankle while trying to beat out a ground ball. Machado has since undergone X-rays on the ankle, with those coming back negative, according to the Padres’ team Twitter account

The Padres have not officially placed Machado on the injured list, but they appear to be bracing for such a maneuver. To wit, top infield prospect CJ Abrams has been scratched from the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate’s lineup, according to Jeff Sanders. Sanders adds that he expects Abrams to make his way to San Diego.

Machado, 29, had been viewed as the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award frontrunner thus far. He entered Sunday with a .329/.401/.548 (175 OPS+) slash line and 12 home runs and 17 doubles in his first 65 contests. His contributions had been worth an estimated 4.0 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference’s calculations; that’s the highest among big-league position players.

Abrams, 21, made his big-league debut earlier this season. In 20 games, he batted .182/.270/.273 (60 OPS+) with a home run and a steal (on two attempts). His struggles were unsurprising, as he appeared in just 42 Double-A games last season before suffering a season-ending injury. Abrams did up his play when he was demoted to Triple-A, hitting .314/.364/.507 with seven homers and 10 steals in 30 games.

The Padres, already without star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., will ostensibly use Abrams and Ha-Seong Kim on the left side of their infield in the near term.

The Padres lost to the Rockies on Sunday, completing a three-game sweep. They entered the day just a half-game back of the Los Angeles Dodgers for first in the National League West.

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