On a conference call to talk about his Rawlings Gold Glove Award, Nick Markakis updated reporters on an injury. If you recall, he was taken out of the last game of the season with a bone bruise in the abdomen area.
“It happened a couple of weeks prior to the end of the season, stealing a base, just dove in and hurt myself. As far as healthy right now, I’d say I’m about 70 to 75 percent. Just a slow healing process. I’m taking it easy, resting. That’s about all you can do for a bone bruise,” Markakis said.
“That last series in Toronto (from Sept. 9-11) I stole second and my belt buckle went into my pelvic bone and got me knocked up pretty good and just repeatedly diving on it toward the end of the season. I think it was the second to last game of the year, I dove for that ball down the right-field line and I kind of put a dagger in my stomach. It was not feeling too well, but it’s better now. I’ll be ready to roll here in a couple of weeks.”
Markaks said it should not limit his offseason workouts.
As for the Gold Glove, Markakis got the honor for the first time in his career after a season where he played error-free ball with 14 assists. He is the first Orioles’ outfielder to play 150 or more games without an error.
Since making his major league debut in 2006, Markakis’ 72 outfield assists are second in the majors only to Jeff Francoeur’s 84.
“I still feel good out there. I still feel like I’m 21 or 22,” Markakis said. “I’m smarter. I try to be more accurate with my throws and get rid of the ball quickly. Just do all the little things.
“One of the best guys in the outfield that I played with, Jeff Conine. He didn’t have the best arm, but he could throw some people out because he got rid of the ball quickly and had good fundamentals. It’s a learning process and, after six years, I am catching on. I work every day with (coach Wayne) Kirby in the outfield.”
Markakis won out in right field over the other finalists in Kansas City’s Francoeur and Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels.
“Just to be talked about in the class with the group of guys that were up for the award is one thing. It’s pretty cool, it’s definitely an honor. To win it this year, I guess I was shocked a little bit, because I know the guys and the reputations they have. It’s a cool honor and something I’ll always remember,” Markakis said.
Markakis was able to benefit from a rule change this year that awarded Gold Gloves to left, center and right fielders. In the past mostly center fielders have won the award.
“I was kind of shocked (about the rule change) but you think about it, why not? They have one at every other position. It’s nice to see, every position is out there now,” he said as he joins Paul Blair and Adam Jones as O’s outfielders to win the award.
On another topic - the Orioles ongoing search for their next general manager - Markakis said he is not concerned the club hasn’t hired Andy MacPhail’s successor yet with free agency about to begin.
“No, I’m not worried about it at all, because I know who our manager is. If I am correct, I’m pretty sure he’ll get it done. No, I really have no worries about it,” Markakis said.
Later today I’ll post more with Markakis as he talks about his preparation on defense, his error-free year and Brian Roberts.