Machado Call Up a Gamble for O's

The Orioles have seen what the promotion of a big time prospect can do for a team. Mike Trout gave the Angels a major lift earlier this season, and it's something that has worked for many teams in the past. The question, however, is did Baltimore make the right move bringing Manny Machado to the big leagues now?

Manny Machado may someday be a cornerstone player for the Orioles, and he may be one of baseball's brightest stars. But, all indications are that right now is likely not Machado's time.

Machado's stock has not changed much since he was drafted. We know now what we knew then, and that is that he's a player that will need some time to develop. He has tremendous physical skills but his time in the minor leagues has been spent turning him into a more polished and complete baseball player.

"No one doubts this guy's raw ability," said one scout. "I'm just not sure how he's going to hold up for them in the big leagues at this stage. He's really picked it up lately in Double-A and his plate discipline has really come along, but this is a big leap for him."

And, that clearly was Baltimore's logic with this move. They took a hitter who was hitting at a .444 clip in his last ten games in Double-A and they're hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Initially, they may very well get that lightning. Machado went out in his first game on Thursday night and picked up two hits. The bigger question is what happens in a couple weeks when pitchers begin adapting to the 20-year-old infielder and exploiting his weaknesses.

When that happens - and it will - we'll know just how wise this move was for the Orioles. His athleticism at third base will help them, as will his energy, speed, and power potential, but they have to know they've taken a gamble with this move. If they've done it for the right reasons, then their boldness should be applauded. But, we have to hope they didn't rush one of baseball's most exciting prospects to pursue what's going to be very difficult battle to make the playoffs.

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