Even though he had just 24 at-bats in spring training after offseason abdominal surgery, Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis today pronounced himself fit and ready to go for this season.
"Yeah, physically, I think I'm about as good as I can be right now. It's just a matter of going out and playing now. All the rehab and hard work in spring training is behind me and now I can focus on the season," Markakis said.
"I feel close. There are some things where I can tell I had surgery. But I'm pain-free and I feel pretty flexible. Pretty excited where I am."
Markakis is on the O's opening day roster for the seventh time. He and Robinson Cano of the Yankees are the only American Leaguers to play 155 or more games each of the past five seasons.
As for his limited at-bats in the spring, he says that is no concern and that he got enough time in the batter's box to be ready to go.
"I felt great," he said. "I saw the ball well in spring. I feel like I got enough at-bats and I feel like I got enough innings in the field. It all leads up to this day now and ready to kick it off."
Markakis said he was never concerned that his surgery would keep him from being ready for today and beyond.
"No, absolutely not. That wasn't anywhere in my thought process. You can't think like that. I had positive thoughts. I had confidence in our training staff and our coaching staff and their ability to get me back to where I need to be and here I am today where I want to be," he said.