Machado joining the Orioles

Baltimore’s Manny era has begun.

The Orioles announced plans Wednesday night to select the contract of top position prospect Manny Machado from Double-A Bowie prior to Thursday’s game, a move that bolsters Baltimore’s infield and supports the organization’s stance that it is committed to winning in 2012.

“The guy’s got a lot of talent and we feel like he can help,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Machado, a top young shortstop considered one of the best prospects in all of baseball, period.

“Manny should be a plus defender, wherever we play him. He’s a five-tool player and he can help our team. I think he improves our team and it’s important here [for this club] to be strong.”

Machado has played mostly shortstop at the Double-A level but is expected to be used at third base with the O’s given shortstop J.J. Hardy’s stellar play.  The 20-year-old has played two career games at third base, but the Orioles’ brass feel he’s capable of handling another position and helping a Baltimore club –which enters Thursday in a three-way tie for the American League Wild Card – make a playoff push.

“When you have the player with this kind of talent, he’s a natural,” Duquette said of Machado, who was named the Eastern League Player of the Week going 10-for-21, including hitting for the cycle on Saturday. “The guy’s got a lot of talent and we feel like he can help.”

A smooth defender, Machado  has drawn comparisons to Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez –who he works out with in the offseason — and has hit .266/.343/.428 in three Minor League seasons. Machado, the third overall pick in the 2010 Draft, has played 203 games at shortstop, three at designated hitter and two at third base, posting a career .955 fielding percentage over that span.

Following the Orioles’ 9-2 win Wednesday night, Orioles manager Buck Showalter made it clear the club will do whatever possible to stay in the postseason race, a sentiment confirmed shortly after with news of Machado’s pending arrival.

“If we can do something that makes us two inches better to have a chance to win the last 49 games, we’re going to do it,” Showalter said.

6 Comments

If macho has a good show. then i would trade jj harden for a number 2 starter and a hard throwing lefty for the pin. sign a top 3rd basemen. bring up the orioles number three prospect to see if he can play second base. resign the entire pin except for gregg . sign a number one starter a table setter with high on base percentage i would resign Reynolds to play first incentive deal. find a real number two catcher to rest waiters. every fifth day strengthen the bench if these moves are made why can’t the orioles go to the world series. i know I’ve been down on Mr angles. maybe just maybe he learn from his mistakes. and let baseball people run the team. if the orioles win 82 games this year i would be happy. i had them at 78 wins this year. i was wrong about this team . I’m still not sold there going to the playoffs. what a story that would be if they did . buck should win manager of the year if that happen and Dan executive of the year. lets just hope Mr angles don’t do like he did in 97. ripped the team apart because they were winning just sit back Mr angles and be like the rest of us enjoy a winning season who knows orioles nationals world series ……

Britt, do you think he’s ready? 20 years old and never played at the triple-A level? Buck and Dan D have made all the right moves so far this season, and I love the fact that we’re in contention this late, but it seems they might be rushing this one. What’s your gut telling you?

Guess we’re going to find out! MLB.com columnist Richard Justice did a nice piece on Orioles.com debating that very question. Check it out.

Seems like quite a jump from AA to the majors and then asking him to play out of position, too. However, I’m just a little fan and have to assume that the FO and Buck know what they’re doing. Guess Machado could spell JJ Hardy at SS from time to time and Andino could play at Third during these occasions.

At one time, we had a can’t miss third base prospect. He came up to the bigs and the manager said, “hey kid, move over there to short.” That move worked okay, I do believe. Today, we have a can’t miss shortstop prospect and our manager is going to tell him, “hey kid, mover over there to third.” I love the move and with the team playing so well right now, the kid has absolutely no pressure on him to carry the whole club…all he has to do is come up and be himself. Who knows, if things go really well, maybe we will see this great young player catching the last out of the World Series, just like another great player did a long time ago. Why Not???

Hope we are not harming a good prospect by rushing him along like we have done with a couple of the young pitchers. Question #1 – who goes from the 25 man roster to make room? Question #2 – the infield is getting a little crowded – when Flaharty comes back, who goes or do we give him back to the Cubs? Question #3 – obviously less playing time for Andino especially if Flaharty stays – how does he and the team handle that situation? Question #4 – How does all of this effect Betemit? I’m sure I will come up with more – I wonder if the team really thought this move thru or if they are just acting on a whim? All we poor fans can do is sit back and see what happens. I know we all want to win but does upsetting the entire apple cart make it all worthwhile. Oh well, I guess we will see.

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