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Orioles to call up top prospect Manny Machado from Double-A

Aug 8, 2012, 11:38 PM EDT

Manny Machado Getty Images

Now here’s a surprise: Baltimore is calling up 20-year-old shortstop Manny Machado from Double-A Bowie on Thursday, MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli reports.

Machado, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, has been on fire of late, going 15-for-32 with three homers in his last nine games. He hit for the cycle on Saturday. Still, he hasn’t been all that great on the season as a whole, hitting .266/.350/.431 with 10 homers and 58 RBI in 399 at-bats. Of course, he was doing that as one of the youngest players in the upper minors — he just turned 20 years old on Monday.

The guess is that Machado will join the mix at third base for the Orioles, even though he’s played just two games there as a pro. The Orioles have mostly used Wilson Betemit at third of late and he’s been producing, but he can play first base, left field and DH. Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis have both been slumping and could stand to lose some playing time. Shortstop J.J. Hardy has been a bit better of late and is likely to remain an everyday player.

  1. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 8, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Can’t help thinking this is a mistake

    • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 8, 2012 at 11:48 PM

      An exciting mistake admittedly

  2. biasedhomer - Aug 8, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Why rush him to the majors? I know they are in the wild card hunt and all, but Machado still has things to work on.

    • mrjavascript - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:38 AM

      With the way this season’s going for the Orioles, the marginal value of a win is getting more and more important.

      • geoknows - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        At this point, he’s more likely to help them to more losses. He just isn’t ready.

  3. DJ MC - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Third base is pretty much the biggest hole the Orioles have in the field right now. Betemit is hitting, but all year has struggled there–even if the numbers don’t suggest that he is as bad as Reynolds over there, just watching him play is a struggle.

    I’ve thought for a while that, next year when he was expected to come up for good, he should start at shortstop while Hardy moves over and fills the third base hole for the next two years. I don’t think Showalter makes that move right now, but if he did that would make things very interesting for the last two months.

    Either way, he should be playing every day.

    There really isn’t another move the Orioles could have made, short of bringing Bundy straight to Baltimore (they promoted him to Double-A tonight after his start), that would excite the fans like this is.

    • redguy12588 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:40 AM

      I doubt Machado puts up the equivalent value of Betemit. This is a purely butts in the seat move.

      • DJ MC - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:47 AM

        You don’t think that he could put up the two-month equivalent of a .4 rWAR or .9 fWAR?

        Betemit is a horrid defensive player. He’s only playing there because he’s hit well and needs a spot in the lineup, and the team is even more down on Reynolds’ defense at third.

        One of the things that scouts always mention about Machado is his advanced batting eye. I wouldn’t expect him to play like Mike Trout for these two months, but if he can simply avoid embarrassing himself offensively while playing a quality defensive third base he’ll be very valuable to an Orioles team that is still in the playoff race.

      • redguy12588 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:27 AM

        Machado has no experience at third base. You’re expecting him to hit above league average and provide quality defense in a position he’s never played? And he just turned 20. Seems like a lot to ask for.

      • randomdigits - Aug 9, 2012 at 7:17 AM

        redguy- Word is that Machado has been putting a lot of work in at 3rd during infield.

      • rockthered1286 - Aug 9, 2012 at 7:32 AM

        redguy- have you not been watching the O’s play? They’ve been asking a second baseman in Andino who never played third before this season to start taking a few days at third.

  4. redguy12588 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    This has disaster written all over it. Generally speaking, an 8 game tear wouldn’t even be enough to warrant a promotion to AAA at his age. Best of luck to the kid, but AAA exists for a reason. Harper and trout are the exception, not the rule.

    • mrjavascript - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:41 AM

      How are they the exception but “not the rule”? Machado, like Trout and Harper, was also a consensus top 10 prospect by industry experts. Scouts say he’s MLB ready, and he has the glove/arm to at least hold his own at this level.

      • redguy12588 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:24 AM

        Scouts say? Who? Hes put up underwhelming lines at every stage of the minor leagues this far. And they’re playing him at 3rd when he’s started all of 2 games there.

      • geoknows - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:18 AM

        Citation, please. What scouts? The only scouts I’ve seen quoted say that he’ll be great, but he isn’t ready for the bigs yet.

      • mordecofe - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:24 AM

        Keith Law, for one, though Machado could play in the bigs out of spring training.

    • randomdigits - Aug 9, 2012 at 7:20 AM

      His OPS at AA is 781, Harper put up a 724 in AA.

      • alang3131982 - Aug 9, 2012 at 8:36 AM

        There is one way this move makes sense: if his glove can play at third. that IF defense is a huge problem with the dregs they throw out there at third. If he can play an average defense and put up an OBP around .310, it’ll be a positive move for the Orioles.

        originally i thought this was a mistake, but if he can add any sort of defense, it should really help. It’s just a shame it came after Britton got demoted, the pitcher who needs glvoes the most. I swear he’s shellshocked by the crap defense behind him.

  5. keithbangedyermom - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    mistake

  6. illadelphiasphinest - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Haters gonna hate. Theres no reason this kid cant go out n put up numbers hes the number 1 prospect at SS according to mlb.com ahead of Profar and Lindor. Go get um kid, best if luck!!!!

    • randomdigits - Aug 9, 2012 at 7:21 AM

      I am an O’s fan and I will freely admit Profar is the better prospect.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 9, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      hes the number 1 prospect at SS according to mlb.com ahead of Profar and Lindor

      Collective rankings from other guys:

      (1) Keith Law – Profar #1, Machado #3
      (2) Kevin Goldstein – Profar #1, Machado #5
      (3) Jim Callis – Profar #2, Machado #9

      Not sure why people would use mlb.com’s prospect guy when the other three are far more readily available.

      1 – http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8150343/jurickson-profar-texas-rangers-new-no-1-prospect-baseball-mlb
      2 – http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17781
      3 – http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/2012/07/midseason-top-50-prospects-list-2/

  7. sophiethegreatdane - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    O’s fan here.

    This only makes sense if there is a waiver trade in the works for either Betemit or Andino. Machado is not ready for the majors, and I doubt there is any consensus at all among scouts saying that he is. Andino is fine at third defensively, and sure, he’s a below average hitter over there, but how exactly would Machado be different? He’d be ok defensively, and a below average hitter — most likely, a significantly worse hitter than Andino (who has shown stretches of being a capable major leaguer). Machado has shown exactly one stretch of being a capable AA hitter. I fail to see how this helps, and it just may hurt the development of Machado. It’s not like the O’s have a solid record of patient talent development over the last, oh, 25 years!

    They should treat their talent development strategies the same way George Costanza did in the Seinfeld episode where he was “opposite George”, and do the exact opposite of their gut instincts.

    • psuravens19 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      How exactly do you know if he isn’t ready for The Show and will just be OK defensively and a below average hitter?

  8. illadelphiasphinest - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Lets play the who am I game both at the AA level. Both similar ages. Player one is a SS in the MLB now

    Player 1
    Games-104, 423AB, 75R, 123H, 13HR, 61RBI, .291AVG, .370OBP, .473SLG

    Player 2
    Games- 108, 399AB, 59R, 106H, 10HR, 58RBI, .266AVG, .350OBP, .431SLG

    Pretty similar right? Well guess what? Player one is the best offensive SS in the game today in Troy Tulowitzki. Player two is Manny Machado. But i guess hes not ready n a below avg hitter…..

    • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      Tulo was a year older
      Hate to break it to you, a year makes a difference

      Manny needs that other year

      This is a fail post

      • illadelphiasphinest - Aug 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM

        Well dumb dumb if you read my post I said they were SIMILAR ages not the same age. So why would he need an extra year if his numbers are so similar to Tulo’s already? You sir make no point and your are a failure.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM

        Similar isnt the same and destroys your entire point

        “dumb dumb”

  9. born2rock1956 - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    I don’t know about this move. I was saying last week to bring the kid up and see what he has. After doing some thinking, I have to say, this might not be a good idea. I would be okay with leaving Andino at 3rd, over Betemit and keeping Omar Q. at 2nd. What worries me about Machado is that he’s not that good on offense. Plus, the pitching he’s going to face is a far cry from AA pitching, he’s faced. I don’t want to see the kid to get rattled in the bigs and lose his confidence.. Maybe the smart move is to get him in to AAA first. But, you never know. He might do well. We’ll have to wait and see.

  10. rockthered1286 - Aug 9, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    Wow everyone must be glass half empty kinda folks.

    In what possible way is this a bad move? It puts butts in the seats, he’s coming up for a 3 game series against the Royals not exactly a stellar club, nobody said he’s playing everyday, and worst case scenario his presence is enough to light a fire under the platoon of Meat/Reynolds/Davis and basically says “bats aside your defense is killing us and unless you figure it out here’s your replacement.” this move is also a result of Flaherty on the 15 day DL so unless he lights the world on fire offensively I don’t see him staying up past that time.

    Just relax and enjoy the show folks!

    • born2rock1956 - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      I’m sure it’s going to be a day to day thing. We have to see how Buck is going to use him. I have seen young talent brought up to early and it ruined them. I don’t think putting butts in the seats should even be a factor when it comes to a situation like this. That’s politics. I look for Buck to use him if and when we have a big lead. Maybe in a pinch hitting role. I doubt if he will be starting. This will give him a taste of the big show. I don’t expect him to be here very long, unless he finds a telephone booth and becomes superman..

      • bmorelikeme - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:23 AM

        They wouldn’t bring him up if they weren’t planning on starting him. I’m as surprised as anybody by this move, but I can see them bringing up a consensus top 5 prospect to sit him on the bench. He will be the starting 3rd basemen. Davis/Betemit/Reynolds with platoon between DH and 1B.

        Also the baseline for Oriole’s 3B this season is .246/.352/.438 with terrible defense. I’m not convinced he will be much of an offensive upgrade right now (although his ceiling is way above that) but all the reports about his defense at SS are glowing. I’d expect he’s an upgrade in the field.

      • bmorelikeme - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:23 AM

        They wouldn’t bring him up if they weren’t planning on starting him. I’m as surprised as anybody by this move, but I can’t see them bringing up a consensus top 5 prospect to sit him on the bench. He will be the starting 3rd basemen. Davis/Betemit/Reynolds with platoon between DH and 1B.

        Also the baseline for Oriole’s 3B this season is .246/.352/.438 with terrible defense. I’m not convinced he will be much of an offensive upgrade right now (although his ceiling is way above that) but all the reports about his defense at SS are glowing. I’d expect he’s an upgrade in the field.

      • rockthered1286 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        Buck’s already said they will start him tonight, and it looks as though he’ll be starting against lefties (so tonight, off 2 nights, then back in the lineup on Sunday if the Royals stay on track with rotation).

        Not expecting him every night, but you’re right he won’t be here long unless his bat blows up. Again Flaherty on the DL prompted this move. When he’s back from mono, odds are Machado drops back down to triple A to finish out the year.

  11. Charles Gates - Aug 9, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Remember when everyone was mad at GMs for holding back exciting young prospects to delay their arbitration clocks? Ahhh…the good old days.

  12. paperlions - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    This feels like a desperate move with little upside and some potential risk.

    Scouts all say he’ll be great. They also say he’s not ready on offense or defense.

    He struggled earlier because he was adjusting to AA, which is totally understandable for a 19 yr old (now 20 yr old)….but if he struggled to adjust to AA earlier this year, what makes anyone think he’s ready for the Majors. The jump from AA to MLB is far greater than the move to AA was….he required an adjustment period for that move….but now he’s supposed to help the MLB club only a couple months later?

    A 20 yr old in AA is already pushing/challenging a prospect….there is no reason to be an idiot about it….especially for a team that has so many holes that their hope of making the playoffs is still pretty slim (even being tied for a spot right now).

    • rockthered1286 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      You’re also assuming this is a permanent move. I’ll fill you in on what’s not mentioned: utility INF Ryan Flaherty went on the DL yesterday with mono. He’s down for 15 days. In response to that, Machado comes up for a stint. This is not permanent unless his bat blows up. In a few weeks he’s likely to move back down to triple A, but what’s the harm in giving the kid a shot when he’s hitting at a .440 clip in his last 10 at double A, just hit for the cycle a few days back, and has been practicing at third recently? What’s the worst that can happen? He gets a few E’s on the board, his bat drops off and he moves back down? That’s pretty much the collective capabilities we’re getting out of Reynolds, Betemit and Davis at third right now. This is a godo experience for the O’s to see what we have in him for a few weeks without losing too much offensively AND defensively.

      And people have been saying our playoff hopes are slim since day one and yet we’re still here, tied for a spot at 9 over .500 and winners of 8 out of our last 10. We haven’t dropped off yet and you may be waiting a while for that one…

      • paperlions - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        Bringing up top prospects for short stints and then sending them back down = stupid

        When the potential value to the MLB club is minimal (which it would be in your scenario) and there is any chance that 1) he would sit the bench a lot or 2) it could retard his development after he just adjusted to AA-level competition….there is no upside whatsoever to such a move.

        It would be smarter to just call him up to stay than to yoyo him back and forth.

      • alang3131982 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        Paper – why is it stupid? A win could be worth a ton to the Orioles this year.

        How will 14 days retard his development? You have no way of knowing that. What if it actually helps his development — he sees tougher ptichers and begins to understand how he’ll be worked at the MLB level and goes back to the minors and knows what he needs to work on, whether it be identifying breaking pitches or attacking early in the count, etc.

        Unless you have some sort of proof that bringing up a stud prospect for 14 days causes irreparable harm, how can you say this is stupid? Fact is, you dont know.

      • rockthered1286 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:57 PM

        Totally agree with @alang here. Trout and Harper come to mind as 2 players to make the jump from AA ball to the bigs, and would you say that “retarded their development?” Not a lick. In fact, they embraced it, adjusted quickly, and have looked dominant. Does it happen all of the time? No. But is it possible? You don’t know until you try, but to simply assume making the jump will be detrimental to his development is nothing short of a big assumption that you’d need to back with stats before trying to convince people you’re right.

        Pitchers are a completely different animal. In that case I would be more likely to agree, but with a position player, let alone a top prospect like Machado, it’s foolish to assume he’ll struggle, fail and regress all from a 15 day stint in the bigs.

      • paperlions - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        Yeah, because Trout and Harper are good comps for Machado.

      • rockthered1286 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

        How can you say they aren’t? Look at the numbers in AA and they were very close. Harper appears better because he’s been hyped up since he was 17 to be the next great thing in baseball (although he’s struggling as of late pretty badly) but other than that, they were both top 10 prospects like Manny, they both made the leap and nobody can tell me they EXPECTED Trout to blow up the way he did or Harper to hit fairly well to this point. You’re seeing it from a current standpoint saying those 2 are far superior to Machado, but prior to Harper and Trout entering the league they were viewed exactly the same as Machado is, perhaps SLIGHTLY higher, but not head and shoulders above him.It’s a justifiable comparison.

      • paperlions - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        I can say it because you can’t scout the stat line.

        If Machado turns out to be anywhere near as good as Trout, I’ll eat my hat.

  13. bravojawja - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    I sure hope this kid isn’t related to Julio Machado.

  14. thereisaparty - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Minor correction: he turned 20 on JULY 6, not August 6.

  15. steviep23 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Didn’t the Angels bring up Trout to play 40 games at the end of last year? Huge mistake that was…

    • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      Trout was a great minor league hitter when he got the call, sporting a 160 wRC+. He looked ready, Manny does not.

    • edgarallan926 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      No no no, you’re forgetting all the collective executive experience that the posters have on hardballtalk.com haha. Great point, I see no harm in this move. He’ll bat 6, 7 or 8 and play 3rd base so expectations for him aren’t high given the play there thus far. I have no problem with them letting him settle in and do his thing.

      People have raved about his maturity, similar to Trout, so why not give the kid a chance now than wait the three weeks that they would have called him up in anyway.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 9, 2012 at 6:05 PM

      Mike trout hit .220/.281/.390 last year, if you think that’s good and hoping for that for Machado, keep him at AA.

  16. steviep23 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    You only say that because of how trout is playing this year. He hit .220 in 40 games last year. All 3 trout, Harper, and Machado are/were top 10 prospects in baseball. The real mistake would be not making a move and letting Betemit stay at 3b. Even if Machado doesn’t hit well at first, his glove will be an upgrade.

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