SARASOTA, FLA. — Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis took batting practice for the second straight day Monday and could DH tomorrow in Fort Myers against the Twins.
Markakis, dealing with a small disk herniation in his neck, hasn't played in a spring game since March 1, but is confident he will get enough at-bats to be ready for the season. In returning from offseason abdominal surgery last spring, he needed just 25 at-bats. He has 14 this spring heading into the final week of spring games. He could also go to minor league camp to accumulate at-bats.
"Everything's going smooth," Markakis said before taking BP on Monday.
-- Speaking of tomorrow's trip to Fort Myers, several starters will make the trip, including J.J. Hardy, Brian Roberts, Chris Davis and Nate McLouth. It's the Orioles' final road game of the spring.
-- The Orioles play today's afternoon game against the Red Sox on national TV – the contest will be broadcast on ESPN – and Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland will get the start.
McFarland is still considered to be in the competition for the fifth starter spot, but he's also competing for a 25-man roster spot. As a Rule 5 pick, the Orioles must keep him on the roster or else risk losing him.
-- Right-hander Steve Johnson was scheduled to start Wednesday night's game against the Yankees, but he has some lower back discomfort, so the team is giving him an extra day. He will now start Thursday's night game and right-hander Jair Jurrjens will start Wednesday.
-- Outfielder Trayvon Robinson, who left yesterday's game with a back injury, is available today. Showalter said he would play today if it wasn't spring training.
-- Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who is progressing from Tommy John surgery, threw 60 pitches on a back field before the game. He threw fastballs and straight change-ups. He still hasn't thrown any breaking balls.
-- Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is facing Red Sox minor leaguers at Twin Lakes Park today.
-- Ryan Flaherty is getting a start in right field today. As I wrote today in The Sun, the team seems confident that he can make the team as a superutility man.
Here are today's starting lineups:
Brian Roberts 2B
Nate McLouth LF
Adam Jones CF
Adam Wieters C
Chris Davis 1B
JJ Hardy SS
Wilson Betemit DH
Manny Machado 3B
Ryan Flaherty RF
TJ McFarland LHP
Shane Victorino CF
Jonny Gomes LF
Mike Napoli DH
Willie Middlebrooks 3B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Ryan Sweeney RF
Jose Iglesias SS
Brock Holt 2B
Christian Vazquez C
Graham Godfrey RHP