Markakis on his spring debut

Nick Markakis, serving as the DH, struck out in his first spring at-bat in the first inning and grounded out to first base in the second.  He reached on a fifth-inning walk, but never advanced. Markakis, who estimated he needed between 20-25 at-bats said everything felt good and he will take two days off and play again on Saturday. The biggest hurdle remains him playing the field, which he is slated to do on March 20.

Here’s what he had to say afterward…

[on finally playing] “I was just happy to get out there get some, at-bats and start this thing off right. And get it going in the right direction.”

[plan today?] “I just wanted to see one pitch. And, you know, timing’s a little off but that can be fixed pretty easy. Overall, I felt fine.”

[on if he is in any pain] “Yes I am, no pain. The biggest thing was I wasn’t too worried about baseball activity, I just wanted to see how my body would react to my natural reactions. It was fine, I didn’t get to run. But we still got time for that.

I would have liked to have run, just to see where I’m at. I ran the bases a lot prior to this and, you know, I think I’m where I want to be right now.”

[biggest challenge right field?]  “Yeah, I’d say so. Get my natural reaction of going side-to-side and see how I feel. Everything’s fine right now, it’s just a matter of getting in that situation and testing it.”

[on if he was overthinking his at-bats]

“I wasn’t up there thinking too much. I thought more about it on base. It’s one of those things you are just going to have to get used to and it is what it is when that point comes.”

[timetable good right now?] Yeah, I’m happy where I am right now. I’m not too far ahead and I’m not far back. I’m right where I want to be and just got to continue to get better and go out there and play.

[on how many at-bats he needs to be ready come April 6] “20-25.  And the way the schedule plays out right now I’d be getting right at that, so I’m pretty happy with it.”

[on what he thinking on the basepaths] “Just my crossover. My left leg over in front. It’s just one of those things that’s going to have to have to happen and we will see what happens when it happens.”

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