The sixth inning began with Nick Markakis in left field, Eli Whiteside catching and Adam Loewen on the mound. Corey Patterson went to center field, and Desi Relaford took over second base.
Loewen is experiencing more control problems, which has become a spring ritual. He allowed a single and hit a batter in the fifth, and he walked two batters in the sixth. But he's turned in two scoreless innings. Robert Andino just lined into a double play. John Stephens will replace Loewen in the seventh. Florida batters might notice a slight drop-off in velocity.
The reporters who cover the team are debating whether Markakis should be the starting left fielder on Opening Day. So far, it's 2-2. I'm willing to change my vote, but for now, I think it would make more sense to assign him to Double-A Bowie and bring him up in the summer. See how Richard Hidalgo is hitting, and where the Orioles are situated in the standings. Give Markakis more at-bats in the minors. Don't rush him. He was facing Carolina League pitching last year.
Again, this is subject to change. A week from now, I could be touting him for Rookie of the Year.