ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Nick Markakis will lead off and Matt Wieters will bat cleanup for Tuesday’s opener against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Nolan Reimold will start in left field and bat seventh.
For the Orioles:
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Nolan Reimold LF
Steve Pearce DH
Brian Roberts 2B
Jason Hammel RHP
Markakis’ availability came into question during spring training after an MRI revealed a herniated disc in his neck. He continues to receive treatment - he wore another ice pack on the back of his neck today - but he avoided the disabled list.
“There was some unknown there, but doctors felt pretty positive about it when it happened,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Nick’s always been a pretty quick healer. You see him get hit by a pitch and it looks real bad, and the next day... But you could say that about a lot of our guys.”
Unfortunately for the Orioles, CC Sabathia tested that theory when he broke Markakis’ left thumb in September.
“Coming into this camp, if you had told me that Nick wasn’t going to be having any troubles with the thumb ... he’s actually got more plate appearances than he had last year,” Showalter said. “He’s a guy who doesn’t take long to get ready. And his legs feel good.”
Showalter said he isn’t apprehensive about starting Reimold in left field on the artificial surface.
“Nolan’s ready to go,” Showalter said. “We never would have taken him on the active roster if he wasn’t.”