The first time Nick Markakis played with the Double-A Bowie Baysox, in 2005 on his way through the Orioles’ farm system, he hit .339 with three homers and 30 RBIs to go with a .993 OPS in 33 games.
He hit those three homers then in 124 at-bats and last night, on an injury-rehab assignment with Bowie, he hit two in three at-bats, driving in four runs as the Baysox beat Akron 7-1.
“He’s been with us the last few days and yesterday he had a great BP,” Bowie manager Gary Kendall said. “He certainly helped us tonight against (Steven) Wright, a pitcher we’ve had some trouble with.”
Markakis is expected to start in right field for Bowie the next two days as he tries to get back to the Orioles in time to start the second half Friday.
Catcher Taylor Teagarden played his second Bowie game last night as he works his way toward Baltimore as well. He went 1-for-2 as the DH after catching nine innings Friday night. Kendall said Teagarden looked real good behind the plate then.
“He had not caught nine innings in Florida (in the Gulf Coast League in three games) prior to coming here, but he caught extremely well. Just how quiet he was with his hands and how he maneuvered the glove. I tell our coaches here, when you really have a good catcher back there, you notice the difference. You don’t hear the shin guards rattling around and see a guy that shifts so well and he’s known for that. His arm strength looks good,” Kendall said.
Teagarden was ticketed to be the O’s backup catcher to Matt Wieters, but has been out all year with a herniated disc in his back. He has had three epidural injections and admits he may still not be 100 percent healthy yet.
“Things are definitely still coming, but I don’t necessarily feel like I did in previous years, per se. It feels a little different but it’s not anything that’s limiting, it’s just something I have to deal with,” Teagarden said.
“I was very frustrated at how things happened and I really wanted to be a part of this (Orioles) team. They got off to a great start and now they are in the middle of a grind right now. Guys are getting dinged up and they need as many bodies as they can and I’m really working hard to get there to help the club.
“We are going to re-evaluate things after Monday’s game and figure out what is best going forward.”
Both Markakis and Teagarden said it is possible that they will want or need to play more minor league games after Monday, but it would not be with Bowie or Triple-A Norfolk, as they will be on their All-Star breaks.
Meanwhile, Markakis was asked about his reaction to the news that his long-time teammate, Brian Roberts, has a right hip labral tear that could require surgery.
“It’s tough. He’s been out of the game for a year and a half and to come back and get put right back on the DL, it’s tough. You feel for him. But he’s been through a lot and I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to get through this,” Markakis said of Roberts.
In the last few days, the Baysox got one of their key players back off the disabled list and yesterday outfielder Ronnie Welty went right back on the DL after just two games back. He is batting .305 with one homer, seven RBIs and an OPS of .836 in 16 games with Bowie after starting the season with Single-A Frederick. Earlier, Welty was out with an elbow injury.
“He just has a slight oblique strain,” Kendall said. “It is nothing serious and with the All-Star break, we just wanted to get it right. It looks very minor.”
With last night’s win, the Baysox are 43-44. They will host Akron tonight at 6:05 p.m. and tomorrow at 11:05 a.m. before they hit the Eastern League All-Star break. Chris Tillman is scheduled to start Monday’s game at Bowie.