Os still unsure about Markakis for Opening Day
Orioles manager Buck Showalter has two lineups made out for Monday’s Opening Day: one with Nick Markakis and one without. Which one Showalter will use won’t be decided until later on Sunday as Markakis -dealing with neck spasms- has improved but still isn’t 100 percent.
“Still a little sore, hopefully it will get a little better,” Showalter said of Markakis, who was a late scratch from Saturday’s exhibition game in Norfolk. “Theres some thought about him getting the benefit of another day with it. We will have our arms around it by the end of the day I hope.”
“I was hoping it would manage a little bit overnight better than it did. It’s a touch better. We’ll see if it’s enough to play tomorrow.”
Markakis had the issue occur on the team’s plane from Sarasota to Norfolk on Saturday and was getting treatment on the area on Sunday afternoon. The right fielder prides himself on being in the lineup every game, so it would take something considerable to keep him out. But with the team’s off day on Tuesday, it could be an easy way to make sure it’s not a lingering issue.
With Boston sending lefty Jon Lester to the mound, Nelson Cruz –who played Saturday– is expected to play left field. David Lough could play the outfield in Markakis’ absence if needed.
*Jonathan Schoop will likely start tomorrow with Lester on the mound.
*Tommy Hunter, widely thought to be closer, said he hasn’t been told one way or the other. Hunter should get the ball in the ninth, and joked that everybody is going to find out together.
*New Oriole Evan Meek, who won the final bullpen spot, is no stranger to Camden Yards. It was almost exactly two months ago that Meek threw a ‘pen over here while a free agent. He ended up signing with the O’s several days later.
*Neither team worked out this afternoon due to rain, though the Orioles did have some guys throw and hit indoors.