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Jean Manuel Machi
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 260 lb.
Originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2000, Machi began his career with La Victoria the same year, going 2-2 with a save and a 4.13 ERA. In 2001, he was 8-3 with two saves and a 2.86 ERA for Mariara, tying Daniel Chirinos for the Venezuelan Summer League lead in wins. He made his Venezuelan Winter League debut in 2001-2002, as the 4th-most-used hurler for the Navegantes del Magallanes, going 0-3 with a save and a 4.00 ERA in 15 contests. He opened 2002 with Mariara and was excellent (0 R in 11 2/3 IP, 7 Sv, 13 K), earning a promotion to the US. With the GCL Phillies, he was 2-0 with a save and a 1.00 ERA, allowing just 11 hits in 27 innings for a .129 opponent average. He was bombed for 7 hits, 4 walks and 7 earned runs in 2 2/3 IP for Magallanes in winter ball. He struggled with the 2003 Batavia Muckdogs at 2-4, 4.78 then had another atrocious winter (8 earned runs and 8 hits in 2 1/3 IP, 0-2 for the Navegantes, with a 30.86 ERA). He dropped back down to the VSL in 2004, going 2-2 with a 2.18 ERA for Tronconero. He also improved in the winter, with a 3.99 ERA in 14 outings for Magallanes.
Tampa Bay system
Following the 2004 season, he was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the AAA portion of the Rule V Draft. He split 2005 between the Visalia Oaks (3-11, 6.03, 58 BB, 10 HBP, 16 WP in 97 IP) and Montgomery Biscuits (4 R in 2/3 IP). He tied for third in the California League in losses, one behind Aaron Marsden and Mike Prochaska and led the league in wild pitches. Among Devil Rays farmhands, he also led in wild pitches and tied for third in losses, one behind Prochaska and Jimmy Anderson. He went 3-2 with a 4.89 ERA for the Navegantes in 2005-2006, striking out over a batter per inning.
Returning to Montgomery in 2006, Machi made significant gains, going 6-1 with 16 saves and a 2.64 ERA, placing him 7th in the Southern League in saves. He was third among Devil Rays minor leaguers in saves behind Greg Dupas and Juan Salas. He went 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA that winter with the Navegantes.
Toronto and Pittsburgh minors
A minor league free agent, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays next but spent two more seasons in AA, declining each season from 2006. In 2007, he went 2-4 with two saves and a 3.53 ERA for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. He then went 0-1 with a 7.45 ERA in a horrid winter. During '08, he was 2-6 with a save and a 4.65 ERA for New Hampshire, posting a 1.64 WHIP. In 2008-2009, he was 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA for Magallanes.
He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates after that and finally made it to AAA at age 27. In 2009, he toiled with the Altoona Curve (2-3, 6 Sv, 2.08) and Indianapolis Indians (1-1, 6 Sv, 2.12, 8 H in 17 IP). He then had an absolutely dominant winter for Magallanes, going 2-0 with 16 saves and a 1.25 ERA in 31 games. He tied Chris Hernandez for the Venezuelan League lead in saves and tied for second in appearances (2 behind Rommie Lewis). Despite being a reliever, he won Pitcher of the Year honors.
Machi was with all of Indianapolis for 2010, going 5-5 with 23 saves and a 3.92 ERA, though he walked 32 in 59 2/3 innings. He was second in the Bucs chain in both saves and appearances, trailing Noah Krol in each. He was also third in the 2010 International League in games pitched (behind Rob Delaney and Kyle Waldrop) and tied for third in saves (with Craig Kimbrel and Winston Abreu, behind Jonathan Albaladejo and Scott Mathieson). His winter was not as good as the prior one at 3-1, 7 Sv, 3.33 in 25 games.
He was signed by the Giants in 2011. He spent most of that summer on loan to the Mexico City Reds of the Mexican League, going 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 15 saves. He also was briefly with the Fresno Grizzlies (1-1, 4 R in 4 IP). He tied Hector Navarro for fifth in the Mexican League in saves. He had a second great winter with the Navegantes (4-2, 11 Sv, 1.47). He was third in the league in saves (7 behind leader Jon Hutton).
After beginning 2012 with the Fresno Grizzlies, for whom he saved 15 games (2-1, 3,87), he earned a September call-up to San Francisco. He made his big league debut on September 3rd, throwing a scoreless inning of relief and retiring all three batters he faced versus the Arizona Diamondbacks. Replacing Shane Loux, he retired Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Montero and Chris Johnson before Sergio Romo replaced him during a 9-8 win. He made 8 appearances for the Giants altogether, with a 6.75 ERA in 6 2/3 innings. He was 0-1 with 3 saves and a 6.06 ERA in a rough winter in Venezuela.
In 2013 however, he had an excellent rookie season at the age of 31, making 51 appearances out of the bullpen for the Giants, with a record of 3-1 and a 2.38 ERA. In 53 innings, he gave up only 46 hits and 12 walks while striking out 51 batters. In winter ball after the season, he was 1-1 with 3 saves and a 4.67 ERA for the 2013-2014 Navegantes. In the 2014 Caribbean Series, he saved three games, doing so against the Leopardos de Villa Clara, Tigres del Licey and Naranjeros de Hermosillo; he tied Tyler Herron for the Series lead in saves and allowed one run (but five hits) in three innings.
Back with the Giants in 2014, he made his bat do the talking on May 5th against the Pittsburgh Pirates as he put down a very good sacrifice bunt against Jared Hughes with one out and two on in the 13th inning of a wild game that was locked in a 10-10 tie at that point; Hughes picked up the ball but threw wildly, allowing Hunter Pence to score. After Sergio Romo threw a perfect bottom of the 13th, Machi was credited with the win, improving his record to 5-0 with an ERA of 0.60 at that early point of the season. He ended up at 7-1, 2.58 with 2 saves in 71 games and 66 1/3 innings. He pitched in the lasts three rounds of the postseason, although he was not particularly effective, with an ERA of 7.94 in 7 games and 5 2/3 innings.