Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis will undergo surgery at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning in Sarasota to remove a broken hamate bone from his right wrist. The procedure will be performed by hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield.
Markakis will be placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career, with a corresponding roster move to be announced later.
It’s believed that Markakis sustained the original injury while sliding into second base a week to 10 days ago, but the complete break occurred Tuesday night during his final at-bat in the ninth inning, when he lined out. Manager Buck Showalter told MASN’s Gary Thorne that Markakis “tweaked” the wrist, and the swelling worsened the next morning.
Showalter actually feared that the injury could end Markakis’ season, but a broken hamate bone could keep him on the disabled list for only three or four weeks. The surgery takes 15-20 minutes.
Triple-A outfielder Scott Beerer underwent the same surgery earlier this year. Former Oriole Jay Gibbons also had it done.
“Nick just has to let the wound heal more than anything,” Showalter said. “Some guys respond quickly. Two weeks. Some longer.
“If you told me before that this is what they’d find out, I would have signed up for that in blood.”
Markakis is hoping to attend tomorrow night’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. He’ll meet with reporters earlier in the day.
Markakis had started the first 50 games, including 48 in right field, but he didn’t play in Wednesday’s series-finale at Rogers Centre.
Markakis is batting .256/.333/.452 with 13 doubles, one triple, eight home runs and 26 RBIs in 199 at-bats. He made a rapid recovery from the abdominal surgery in January that threatened his availability for opening day, but he’s facing another procedure tomorrow that he never anticipated.
Rookie Xavier Avery was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, but he could be recalled before the 10-day minimum requirement if he’s replacing a player on the disabled list. However, he’s batting leadoff tonight for the Tides, so he’s not heading to Tampa.
Avery made his major league debut on May 13 and batted .217/.299/.317 with four doubles, one triple, four RBIs, nine runs scored, four stolen bases, seven walks and 14 strikeouts in 15 games with the Orioles. He was optioned while battling a 3-for-30 slump.
Some people in the organization want Avery to continue playing every day at Triple-A after he got into a bad habit of trying to pull the ball on every swing.
Norfolk outfielders Lew Ford, Jai Miller and Jamie Hoffman are being discussed as possible replacements for Markakis. Ford is batting .370 with two homers, six RBIs and a .941 OPS in 12 games with the Tides after signing out of the independent Atlantic League. All three are in Norfolk’s lineup tonight.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette also is looking outside the organization for available outfielders.