It's only June, but some teams have already cast an eye toward the future, as evidenced by the plethora of young, homegrown stars that have been called up to the majors in recent days, sometimes at the cost of established veteran talent. In the last week alone, the Orioles, Pirates, Braves and White Sox -- four teams a combined 12 games under .500 and 5.5 games out of first place -- have each promoted their top prospect. Baltimore brought up catcher Matt Wieters, Pittsburgh traded All-Star center fielder Nate McLouth to the Braves and replaced him with Andrew McCutchen, the Braves released future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine and promoted pitcher Tommy Hanson and the White Sox brought up infielder Gordon Beckham, a top 10 draft pick just last season. Of that group, the Braves are the only team at .500 and fewer than 5.5 games from a playoff spot and thus have the best reason to not yet abandon their chances this year.
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