Orioles to call up Manny Machado

Manny Machado will make his major league debut at third base for the Baltimore Orioles, who hope the 20-year-old can enhance their bid to reach the playoffs.

Machado, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, was batting ninth for Baltimore on Thursday night against the Kansas City Royals.

"The guy's got a lot of talent, and we feel like he can help," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette told the team's official website.

"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 says he's "super excited" about getting the opportunity to join the big league club.

"This is the highest level but I am still going to go out there and try to play my game," he said.

The Orioles announced their decision to promote Machado after Wednesday's 9-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners. It was the fifth consecutive victory for Baltimore, which entered Thursday's contest tied with the Oakland Athletics atop the American League wild-card standings.

Machado batted .266 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs in 109 games at Bowie. The Miami native played 104 of those games at shortstop but will replace Wilson Betemit as the Orioles' starting third baseman. J.J. Hardy has served as Baltimore's shortstop, and Duquette feels confident Machado will adapt well to third base.

"When you have the player with this kind of talent, he's a natural," Duquette told the Orioles' website.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter says they brought up Machado, who entered this season as Baseball America's 11th-highest rated prospect, because the team thinks he can help them win.

"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 told the team's website.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.