The Orioles just announced that they're going to select the contract of Double-A Bowie shortstop Manny Machado before tomorrow night's game against the Royals at Camden Yards.
How's that for a surprise?
The Orioles stated in the press release that Machado, the third-overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, will be making his major league debut. However, he won't necessarily start tomorrow. And he's not going to unseat J.J. Hardy at shortstop.
Machado, 20, is batting .266/.352/.438 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs in 109 games with the Baysox this season, including a .275/.365/.505 line in 91 at-bats since the All-Star break.
Machado came into 2012 rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Orioles organization and the No. 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 RBIs and a run scored.
Before tonight, Machado was a career .263/.343/.428 hitter in 218 minor league games over three seasons.
Machado has played 203 games at shortstop and two at third base as a professional. He's still viewed as the shortstop of the future, but the present could include a shift to third, where Wilson Betemit has committed 13 errors and Mark Reynolds committed six in 15 games before moving to first base.
Manager Buck Showalter has been using Robert Andino in a platoon with Betemit and as a late-inning defensive replacement.
Steve Johnson picks up his first major league win. Dylan Bundy gets promoted to Bowie. Machado gets promoted to the majors.
All in a night's work.
"Manny can be a plus-defender and help the team," said executive vice president Dan Duquette. "The kid has a lot of talent. It sounds like Buck will play him at third base."
I tweeted earlier that the Orioles can transfer Brian Roberts to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Machado on the 40-man roster, but I forgot to include it in the blog. Also, they can option Johnson or Miguel Socolovich to create space on the 25-man roster, which would give Showalter a four-man bench.
In his last 10 games, Machado is batting .444 (16-for-36) with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, seven RBIs, five walks and a 1.401 OPS.