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Surprise! Manny Machado called up to the Orioles

Ready or not, here he comes! The Orioles have called up Manny Machado, which, seriously, HOLY F---ING SH--  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Ready or not, here he comes! The Orioles have called up Manny Machado, which, seriously, HOLY F---ING SH-- (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
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The Orioles announced after tonight’s game that they plan to select the contract of INF MANNY MACHADO from Double-A Bowie before tomorrow night’s game against Kansas City. He will be making his major league debut.

Machado, 20, has batted .266/.352/.438 with 11 home runs and 59 RBI in 109 games with the Baysox this season, including a .275/.365/.505 line in 91 at-bats since the All-Star break.

The Orioles’ first round selection (#3 overall) in the 2010 First Year Player Draft out of Brito Private School in Miami, FL, Machado came into 2012 rated as the #2 prospect in the Orioles organization and the #11 prospect overall by Baseball America. He played in the MLB Futures Game in Kansas City in July, going 1-for-3 with a double, two RBI and a run scored.

Machado was a 2011 South Atlantic League All-Star. Machado entered play on Wednesday a career .263/.343/.428 hitter in 218 minor league games over three seasons (2010-2012).

Talk about a surprise move. There was nothing to telegraph this at all. Who knows why it's being done right at this point in time? None of us know, and it seems neither did the reporters when the announcement was made. It's even more curious because the beat writers have tweeted that he's "not definitely starting", but he might, though. The other tidbit is that while they will plan to use him as a 3B in the interim, they see him as a shortstop long term. That last comes from Kevin Goldstein, who is a must-follow - just accept the occasional non-baseball weirdness (which is really part of the fun).

Obviously, it's the 3B position where the O's have a bit of difficulty right now, with players who either can't hit or can't field. Machado can do both - or, well, that is his ceiling. He is probably not there yet, but that batting line in the press release above probably tells the tale. Could be a hot streak, could be that the Orioles feel like he's made that last adjustment to get him ready to be a big league player - or at least a better big league player at third base than the Orioles are currently getting from the platoon of Wilson Betemit and Robert Andino.

We have been watching what the O's have been getting from said platoon. That's not a high bar to clear. Machado turned 20 in July. Is this a panic move? That's the big question. We know how the O's panic moves with young pitchers went in the Andy MacPhail era. It's Dan Duquette's time now, and his people, by calling up Machado, say he's our best bet.

Duquette's the mad genius whose plan has gotten the team this far. No reason to stop trusting him just yet. Whether it'll work or not is another story entirely, but it's certainly a bold move - and it's not completely insane to think that Machado will make some noise for himself, if not quite as much noise as 19-year-old Bryce Harper or 21-year-old Mike Trout.

Strap yourselves in, ladies and gentlemen, and do whatever you feel you must do to celebrate the imminent arrival of Machadomas. There was already going to be a Camden Chat gathering at the game for Wei-Yin Chen t-shirt night - and I think it's about to get a bit bigger than it was already.