Nick Markakis to return for Orioles on Friday
As the Baltimore Orioles look to continue to push for one of the American League’s two wild-card spots, the Birds will get back a key bat when the second half of the season resumes Friday vs. Detroit as outfielder Nick Markakis will return from the DL.
The Orioles announced Monday evening that they have reinstated Markakis from the 15-day disabled list and optioned first baseman Joe Mahoney to Class-AAA Norfolk. Markakis was placed on the DL for the first time in his career on June 1 with a right hamate bone fracture.
Prior to being injured, Markakis was batting .256/.333/.452, with eight home runs and 26 RBI. Since 2006, Markakis has been remarkably durable, never appearing in fewer than 147 games a year. From 2009 through 2011, Markakis only missed five games. Markakis batted .300 with a double and two home runs in three rehab games with Class-AA Bowie.
Chris Davis has spent time in right field in Markakis’ absence, and, although he’s produced for the Orioles this season, his numbers at the plate when he’s in the outfield aren’t good. In 16 games as Baltimore’s right fielder, Davis is batting .140/.183/.263, with two home runs, 8 RBI, and 22 strikeouts.
Markakis returns to the Orioles at a time when they’re not on sure footing. They’re now seven games back in the American League East and no longer in control of the wild-card race either. Markakis needs to step up offensively, especially if he’s going to continue to bat in the third spot in the lineup. He was given a contract extension in 2009 to be a next-level player for the Birds, but he’s not producing like it.
Meanwhile, Mahoney made his major league debut on Saturday against the Angels, going 0-for-3. He batted .257 with 14 doubles, five home runs and 38 RBIs in 84 games with the Tides this season.