Showalter talks about Markakis and intrasquad games

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nick Markakis is expected back in camp on Friday after flying to Baltimore today for a funeral.

As I mentioned earlier, Markakis underwent the same acid reflux test administered to Manny Machado and Zach Braddock. That's why he didn't play today.

"He had it this morning, 7 o'clock," said manager Buck Showalter. "He had to have a little anesthesia to do it. That's why he didn't participate today.

"What happens is they have this acid reflux and they mention it in the physical. When they say that, (doctors) follow up on it. What they're testing for is, is it acid reflux or an ulcer? And this test tells you what we're dealing with before you medicate it. Do we just give them the acid reflux medicine or are we treating something else? They're trying to eliminate which one it is of those two.

"Richie (Bancells) and the doctors' idea is, instead of it being a problem in May or June, let's find out right now what we're dealing with."

Adam Russell showed hitters a few different arm slots in the third inning.

"You can see why he's been well thought of," Showalter said. "We'll see where he is. Obviously, a strong-willed guy, what's going on with him personally. We're just trying to create a good environment for him. It's kind of like a haven for him with some of the things that are going on. You can tell he's at peace here at the ballpark."

Here's the blog entry I wrote yesterday that explains everything that Russell is dealing with personally.

Darren O'Day has been mentoring Russell and left-hander Mark Hendrickson as they attempt to grow comfortable throwing with a sidearm delivery.

"Darren is very sharing," Showalter said. "And it's different. You can't just, everybody cloned. They're looking at little things, like head angle. People make mistakes thinking your body is what dictates your arm angle. Where your bend is. There are so many little things. You don't just take a guy and say, 'Start throwing sidearmed.' There's a lot of factors to it."

Brian Roberts received a nice round of applause from fans today when he lined an RBI single into left field off Zach Britton.

"That's nice," Showalter said. "I don't think it surprises anybody. I don't think Zach was too happy about it."

Showalter is impressed with the way catcher Jose Gil "receives the ball."

Gil was a switch-hitter before his bad splits ended that experiment. He only bats from the right side now.

Showalter also likes what he's seen from infielder Adrian Marin, the Orioles' third-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Gulliver Prep in Miami. Marin came over here from minor league camp for the intrasquad games.

"You can see why everybody's so high on him. He's got nice actions, real calm," Showalter said. "He's got a little Bordy (Mike Bordick) look to him."

Jason Pridie, hoping to play for his fourth major league team since 2008, made a nice catch against the right-field fence to rob Manny Machado.

"There's a calmness to him," Showalter said. "He's got a plan, he's got a good approach. You can see he's a confident hitter. He's not out here trying to get everybody's attention and pull every ball as hard as he can and see which way the wind's blowing and play the wind. He's got a program. He keeps the bat in the zone a long time."

Showalter doesn't view it as a strike against Pridie, 29, that he's bounced around a few organizations.

"I look at it the other way. There are some people who covet his services," Showalter said. "Just because somebody else's roster is constructed to where they couldn't start there ... I think he's a good option for us.

"He gets the gig. You can tell. He waited until the last day to shave his beard. He knows the gig. He's holding on as long as he can."

Note: Tomorrow's intrasquad game at 1 p.m. on the main field is closed to the public. However, the back fields will remain open as usual for viewing practice and workouts.

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