Markakis quotes and upcoming pitching schedule

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Nick Markakis finished his medicine pack a few days ago, spoke with a team physician yesterday and plans on resuming baseball activities later this week.

All positive developments after Markakis was diagnosed with a small herniation in his neck.

"He said to check back with him Thursday or Friday and hopefully they'll release me to do some baseball stuff," Markakis said this morning. "There's just a little bit of soreness in there. Hopefully, these next couple of days it will get out of there and I'll be ready to roll.

"I'm optimistic that I'll be able to do stuff at the end of the week. We'll see. I'm feeling good and that's all that really matters right now."

Markakis hasn't played since March 1. He was scratched from the Orioles lineup two days later.

Zach Britton,, T.J. McFarland, Jim Johnson, Darren O'Day and Mark Hendrickson are scheduled to pitch Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays in Sarasota. Jeremy Jeffress will start for the Blue Jays.

Jake Arrieta, Luis Ayala, Tommy Hunter and Troy Patton will pitch Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Sarasota. Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez will start for the visitors.

Steve Johnson, Jair Jurrjens, Daniel Schlereth, Adam Russell and Daniel McCutchen are scheduled to pitch Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte. Jeff Niemann will start for the Rays.

Dylan Bundy will start today at Twin Lakes Park in a Double-A game. Chris Tillman is starting the Triple-A game.

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