The Baltimore Orioles are calling up premier shortstop prospect Manny Machado from the Double-A Bowie Baysox today, with the intention of using him as the team’s third baseman for the remainder of the season. Machado, who turned 20 years old last month, was the teams first pick, third overall, in the 2010 Rule IV Draft.

He’s had a decent season at Double-A where he was the youngest player in the league, putting up a .266/.352/.438 slash line, while hitting 11 home runs in 459 plate appearances. However, he’s only made two appearances as a third baseman, and for what it’s worth, out of the seven total defensive chances he was presented with at the hot corner, he committed one error.

The addition of Machado to the lineup means that Wilson Betemit, who has been playing third base for the Orioles, but is capable of playing first base or left field, will be utilized elsewhere. This will further limiting the playing time of Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis, while J.J. Hardy will remain the team’s every day shortstop. That’s not a bad thing.

Wilson Betemit: .263 AVG; .323 OBP; .427 SLG; .324 wOBA; 100 wRC+.
Chris Davis: .258 AVG; .308 OBP; .448 SLG; .319 wOBA; 97 wRC+.
Mark Reynolds: .212 AVG; .328 OBP; .382 SLG; .312 wOBA; 92 wRC+.

While many might criticize the timing of calling up a barely turned 20-years-old prospect, the truth of the matter is that the Baltimore Orioles are clinging to a playoff spot right now. Yes, there are seven weeks left in the season, and the Orioles’ current record is good enough to put them in a position that only nine other teams can say they’re in as well.

It doesn’t matter if they’ve benefited from luck as their run differential might suggest. It doesn’t matter that their true talent level may be below several other teams in their own division. Given their current place in the standings, Baltimore needs to try to scrape together every possible victory that it can, and looking at the players in the lineup that Machado replaces, it’s easy to suggest that his addition provides an increased likelihood of a win or two down the stretch.

And that win or two could be vital down the stretch. Vital enough to completely justify the Baltimore Orioles calling up a 20-year-old prospect to the Major Leagues, service time implications be damned.

And The Rest

On the 8th of August in 1989, an unheralded Baltimore Orioles right-hander named Dave Johnson earned his first Major League win. On the 8th of August in 2012, an unheralded Baltimore Orioles right-hander named Steve Johnson earned his first Major League win. They’re father and son. [Baltimore Sun]

A media guy for the Cincinnati Reds is probably getting reprimanded as I type for lashing out through Twitter. [Deadspin]

Another nameless media guy for the Pittsburgh Pirates is probably getting reprimanded as I type as well, after the horrible Fan Advisor debacle that was written about yesterday. [Buc's Dugout]

Today’s Draft Derby standings. [Twitter]

The Washington Nationals react to Roger Bernadina’s amazing extra innings catch that saved Tuesday night’s game for the team. [Washington Post]

Blame bad luck, not Nolan Ryan for the injury problems facing the Texas Rangers. [NBC Sports]

The San Francisco Giants and Melky Cabrera have shelved extension talks for the time being. [CBS Sports]

After last night’s 15-0 drubbing at the hands of the San Francisco Giants, what else can be done but write a whole bunch of words on St. Louis Cardinals middle infielder Tyler Greene. [Viva El Birdos]

There’s a new sandwich available at New York Mets games. [Ted Quarters]

Minnesota Twins shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka just needs to breathe. [Puckett's Pond]

The Texas Rangers have released Yorvit Torrealba. [MLBlogs]

Fibonacci seasons and careers. [Value Over Replacement Grit]

The negativity surrounding Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks is completely unfounded. [MLB.com]