Connolly's Bar: Is promoting Manny Machado smart or foolish?

The bar is going to be closed for a week or so.

We’re taking the kegs and the bottles to the beach for a good Irish vacation.

So I wanted to throw out one more bar question so you wouldn’t be in withdrawal.

And this one is a Jamie Moyer fastball.

The Orioles surprised many by calling up their top hitting prospect, 20-year-old Manny Machado, to play third base.

He had been hitting in the minors recently. And the thought is he can provide better defense than what the club has had this year. Hard to argue with that.

I know there is a contingent out there that thinks the Orioles have rushed Machado – even after his two-hit night Thursday – and that it could ruin him.

I’m not really buying that. Maybe they did rush him. But for most players – especially hitters – a tough early going doesn’t mean the end of a career (see Ripken, Cal Jr. or Markakis, Nick). The conventional wisdom in baseball is if a highly touted prospect can’t overcome an early setback, he was never strong enough mentally to handle the game.

So I say ‘Why not?’ to Machado. Give him three weeks to play almost every day. And if he can’t handle it, then pick your spots when rosters are expanded. This late in the season, there’s no reason to suffer an indignity and send him down.

At the very least he gets a great experience. At best, he becomes the 2013 third baseman a few months earlier than scheduled.

But maybe I am alone here.

Daily Think Special: Is promoting Manny Machado smart or foolish?

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