Nick Markakis’ wife, Christina, is due to give birth to the couple’s third child on Wednesday. Doctors will induce labor in the morning, and Markakis is planning to play that night against the Yankees if there are no complications.
“That’s the way he’s got it set up. We’ll see,” said manager Buck Showalter.
“It’s one thing to induce. It’s not like going to the dentist. I just hope everything goes well, and when he gets here, he gets here. I’m planning on him being an ‘if’ on Wednesday. I hope that happens and everything runs smoothly.”
Markakis may not go on paternity leave. If he does, it’s a day-to-day process. He wouldn’t have to stay on it for the full three days.
Markakis is batting leadoff tonight against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia. Showalter said he had reasons “that I really don’t want to broadcast.”
“Its the best fit for us,” Showalter said. “So many times in these games, you know Sabathia’s got a real good chance to be out there for a long time, but you’ve also got to think about how you’re going to defend the bullpen when they come in.”
Showalter said Wilson Betemit is still an option to start or pinch-hit for the Orioles, though the veteran is 0-for-9 since coming off the disabled list and has one at-bat since Aug. 31.
Showalter used Henry Urrutia twice over the weekend instead of pinch-hitting with Betemit. He also has used Brian Roberts as his designated hitter and started Ryan Flaherty at second base, again leaving Betemit on the bench.
“It could be different tonight. It depends where our pinch-running situation is,” Showalter said.
Betemit would be removed for a pinch-runner if reaching base, and someone else might have to play in the field. Showalter is trying to avoid a possible three-man move, even with an expanded roster.
Roberts isn’t starting tonight because Alexi Casilla is 16-for-31 against Sabathia, and Michael Morse is 4-for-7 with a double and home run.
Showalter is trying to heat up Morse’s bat. Morse is 3-for-14 with no extra-base hits or RBIs with the Orioles.
“Mike’s not where he’s going to be yet,” Showalter said, “but how do you get him back there?”
Roberts gives the Orioles a right-handed bat off the bench tonight, which is important to Showalter, and he may not get another day off the rest of the season.
Outfielder Steve Pearce had a cortisone injection in his left wrist on Friday, and he swung off a tee yesterday. Pearce won’t be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible on Thursday, but it may not be much longer.
The Orioles must decide whether to add him to the expanded roster, which seems probable if he’s healthy.
Manny Machado leads the American League with 48 doubles, the second-most in major league history by a player in his age-20 or younger season behind Alex Rodriguez (54 in 1996). He’s on pace for 55, which would be one shy of Roberts’ club record set in 2009.
Machado ranks second in the majors with 177 hits, trailing Mike Trout (178).
The Orioles are batting .174 (20-for-115) with runners in scoring position in their last 15 games.
For the Yankees
Brett Gardner CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Curtis Granderson DH
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Austin Romine C
CC Sabathia LHP