Markakis’ neck is feeling better and he’s already stopped by manager Buck Showalter’s office twice to campaign for the start, which would be his eighth in a row on opening day.
Markakis tried to take batting practice yesterday, “but we caught him,” Showalter said.
Nelson Cruz will start in left field if Markakis can play. Otherwise, Cruz will move to right and David Lough will start in left.
Rookie Jonathan Schoop is starting at second base and Ryan Flaherty is playing third. Delmon Young is serving as the designated hitter.
“I think Jonathan’s still not sure he made the club,” Showalter said, grinning.
Tommy Hunter has been told that he’s the closer. Josh Stinson is the primary long man in the bullpen, though Brian Matusz and Zach Britton could contribute in that role early in the season.
Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris could be used out of the bullpen on occasion due to the off-days or an extra-inning games.
Showalter will wear an orange ribbon today with a black feather in the middle that the family of former public relations director Monica Pence Barlow presented to him earlier this month in Virginia. The entire team and staff are wearing orange bracelets with her name on one side and “Orioles” on the other. The Orioles also have placed Barlow’s jacket on her chair in the press box.
Barlow passed away on Feb. 28 after being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer 4 1/2 years ago. She was 36.
For the Red Sox
Daniel Nava RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Mike Carp LF
Grady Sizemore CF
Xander Bogaerts SS
A.J. Pierzynski C
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jon Lester LHP
Update: Markakis looks good in BP, spraying the ball to all fields as usual.
Dylan Bundy tweeted the following:
“First 25 pitch full mound today! #greatday”