Before Sunday's series finale against New York, Showalter admitted it was wishful thinking. A series of tests over the next two days will give the Orioles a definitive answer whether Markakis will need surgery that would most certainly end his 2012 season regardless of the Orioles' future.
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The Orioles are considering sending Markakis to Sarasota, where he owns a winter home, to see another hand specialist there.
"We're looking at best-case scenario until we get all the information," Showalter said. "I knew we'd go down the CAT scan, the MRI and all those things. I think the big hurdle whether to be positive is whether they feel like they need to go in there and surgically repair it, then it's not very positive for this season."
Showalter is starting left fielder Nate McLouth -- who has experience hitting atop the order -- in the leadoff spot this afternoon. McLouth has made 281 career starts as a leadoff hitter in his career, hitting .254/.340/.445. Chris Davis is starting in right field.
And the Orioles plan on selecting the contract of veteran outfielder Endy Chavez on Tuesday, who was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, to add another leadoff option and outfielder. Chavez started 19 games in the leadoff position, hitting .146.