So we are now 18 games into the season and Nick Markakis is batting .203 with two homers and six RBIs. He has a slugging percentage of .319 and OPS of .592.
Last night he went 0-for-4 and twice failed to come up with the clutch hit when batting with two men on base. He has just three hits over his last 28 at-bats for an average of .107 and just eight hits over his last 55 at-bats for a mark of .145 since April 6.
Last night, reader Gerry O. left this comment about Markakis and his struggles this year:
It is, at this point in time, that Nick Markakis needs a day or two off. Right now he looks lost at the plate. Listened to your show when you mentioned that you were more concerned about Guerrero then Lee because he wasn't hitting the ball with authority. I would be a lot more concerned about Markakis who is considered to be one of the cornerstones of this franchise. Tonight was one of his most discouraging evenings in his career. How many runners did he leave on base this evening? How many times has he failed with men in scoring position. I know your answer Markakis is a wonderful hitter, he will come out of his slump, and return to the doubles making machine that he has been in the past. You might be right, but, at this time, he is lost, and, as I noted, a few games sitting will be a wake up call. Of course, Markakis is a wonderful outfielder, with an outstanding arm, but he could benefit (as Adam Jones did) from a little splinter time.
My response is: I won't worry about Markakis now and probably not ever. He will hit, we know that and if he is slumping now that means the hits will be coming in bunches before long. If I made out the lineup card, no way would I even consider sitting Markakis right now.
Markakis is the most complete hitter in the Orioles lineup and I want him in there pretty much every night. He's not lost now, he's just in a slump. This, too, shall pass.
Markakis bats .263 with a homer and five RBIs in his career against CC Sabathia, Friday's Yankees starter. Last year, Markakis hit a whopping .361 against left-handed pitching, the best mark in all of Major League Baseball by a lefty hitter versus lefty hurlers.
I know Markakis doesn't have an RBI his last seven games and is just 3-for-16 this year when batting with runners in scoring position.
I know all the numbers that don't look good for him right now. I also know I won't worry about him and I wouldn't even consider taking him out of the lineup right now.