Markakis out of lineup

SARASOTA, Fla. - Given the choice to play or sit, Nick Markakis decided to stick to his original schedule. He won't play today against the Nationals at Ed Smith Stadium.

Manager Buck Showalter wrote out two lineups yesterday, including one with Markakis serving as the designated hitter. He left the decision to Markakis.

"I was supposed to have off today on the original schedule, so we're going to stick with it and have a couple days off and get back in there," Markakis said.

For the Orioles:
Ryan Flaherty RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Wilson Betemit DH
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Nolan Reimold LF
Robert Andino 2B

Jake Arrieta RHP

Markakis will start in right field Monday night against the Pirates in Brandenton, so he'll get acclimated to playing under the lights.

"That was my main reason," he said. "There's a lefty throwing, too, so I can knock out two birds with one stone. I get a night game and a lefty, two things that I wanted to do. You can definitely count me on that trip."

Markakis has made tremendous progress since undergoing abdominal surgery in January.

"I'm good. I'm ready to roll," he said. "I could use probably six more at-bats, two more games worth, and I'll be ready. I just wanted to see a lefty and then whatever that other game brings, I'm ready."

Markakis probably will bat second or third this season.

"I have no idea," he said. "There are several different scenarios that you can do. I'll hit wherever my name is in that lineup. I'm not too worried about it.

"Whether it's two or three, it doesn't matter to me. Whatever's going to help us the best. We'll see opening day. After the first time through the lineup, it doesn't matter where you hit. Anybody can be leadoff or a three hitter or a four hitter. It doesn't particularly matter to me."

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