Continuing to deal with neck spasms that have sidelined him for a week, Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis will undergo an MRI on Monday.
The 29-year-old was scratched from the lineup on March 3 and hasn’t played in a spring game since March 1 despite downplaying the significance of the spasms. Markakis had told reporters in Sarasota earlier in the week that he’d be able to play if it were the regular season, but the MRI is a precautionary move because the spasms have lingered for so long.
In four spring games, Markakis is 3-for-12 with three singles and one run batted in.
“I’m not going to downplay it; we’ll see,” manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Florida on Saturday. “When you get something that has kind of cropped up twice, information is a good thing. I haven’t been told anything to make me think there’s a sense of urgency with that. I asked Nick about it and he goes, ‘Whatever.’ We’ll see.”
The news of an MRI is concerning with Markakis coming off an injury-plagued season that limited him to 104 games. After the outfielder underwent abdominal surgery last winter, he missed six weeks with a broken hamate bone in his right wrist in the first half and saw his season come to an end in early September when a CC Sabathia fastball broke Markakis’ left thumb.
It was the first time since his rookie season in 2006 in which Markakis failed to appear in at least 157 games.
In 471 plate appearances in 2012, Markakis hit .298 with 13 home runs and 54 RBI while posting an .834 OPS, his highest mark since the 2008 season.