Nick Markakis Brought Off DL
The Orioles have been foundering without a real right or left fielder recently, and they'll go a long way toward addressing that with the re-addition of Nick Markakis.
Markakis, on the DL since early June (retroactive to May 30) with a broken hamate bone in his hand, is batting .256 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs. Markakis, a Gold Glove winner, will make a world of difference defensively for the Orioles and force them to find another place for Chris Davis, who has been bumped out of first base and the DH spot.
Markakis returns to the Orioles at a time when they're not on sure footing. They're now seven games back in the American League East and no longer in control of the wild-card race either. Markakis needs to step up offensively, especially if he's going to continue to bat in the third spot in the lineup. He was given a contract extension in 2009 to be a next-level player for the Birds, but he's not producing like it, and hasn't for several years.
Markakis often gives the impression that nothing rattles him. He seems emotionless at times. That has to change during the second half of 2012. The Orioles need an on-field leader along with Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, both from a performance standpoint and emotionally. Now is the time for him to earn his cornerstone status.
Posted July 10, 2012