Markakis to have right wrist reexamined Friday
Outfielder has lingering soreness, not cleared to start hitting
NEW YORK -- Nick Markakis will have his right wrist reexamined on Friday, as the Orioles outfielder is still dealing with lingering soreness in the area and will not be cleared to start hitting until it's resolved.
While Markakis had originally hoped to start hitting Friday -- which is the three-week mark from surgery to remove part of his right hamate bone -- manager Buck Showalter said of the plan, "I don't think [head athletic trainer Richie Bancells] is looking at it that way right now."
Asked if Markakis could return before the team's upcoming homestand ends on July 1, which was his original goal, Showalter said: "I don't see that happening. But we'll see."
It's important to note the latest news on Markakis isn't necessarily a setback, as the 28-year-old is progressing ahead of schedule -- with the recovery time for surgery extending to six to eight weeks in some cases -- although he likely doesn't see it that way. On the disabled list for the first time in his career, Markakis has been traveling with the team and has been noticeably anxious to get back.
"Believe me, as much as he wants to be playing, we really want to get him off the DL for more reasons than just get him in the lineup," Showalter said. "He's a good load."
A hard-nosed player who prides himself on being in the lineup every day, Markakis started the team's first 50 games and made significant strides in his recovery from offseason abdominal surgery to be ready for Opening Day. He could be cleared to hit this weekend depending on how he is progressing, with the Orioles' trying to be cautious in making sure Markakis is fully healed.
O's hoping Reynolds, like weather, warms up
NEW YORK -- As the warmer weather starts to set in, the Orioles hope that infielder Mark Reynolds -- who led the team in home runs and RBIs last year -- can start to get going offensively, and provide a significant boost to the lineup.
Reynolds, who did not start Wednesday's series finale against the Mets, has five homers and 21 RBIs -- compared to 13 homers at this time a year ago, although he has missed time this year with an oblique strain. Reynolds has played in 47 games, rejoining the team on May 28, and through 47 games in 2011, he had six homers and 22 RBIs.
"I think it slowed him down," hitting coach Jim Presley said of Reynolds, who fared well in his first week back, but like most of his teammates, has had no answer the past few games as the O's offense has gone missing against some of the National League's top arms.
"I'll give him a pass with the pitches he faced the last three days," manager Buck Showlater said of a group that includes Atlanta's Randall Delgado and New York's R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana. "But, I still hold out a lot of confidence that [Reynolds] will get it going and revert back to his track record."
The 28-year-old Reynolds said he can't pinpoint an exact reason why his power hasn't emerged yet, but he is quick to point out that his strikeout totals are down from previous years and his .349 on-base percentage and walks -- he leads the team with 28 -- are ways he can still contribute.
"I had an 0-2 hit the other day in Atlanta on a curveball where normally I would try to swing to hard at it and strike out," Reynolds said. "Instead, I hit a single through the hole. And I'm not worried about [the homers]. It will happen when it happens. I'm not trying to hit homers, where maybe in the past, I would have regardless of the situation.
[I'm] just kind of understanding the right time to really let it loose and the right time to take the base hit to right."
Reynolds has typically been a slow starter, and said the lack of home runs this season isn't something "he's losing sleep over." He dealt with a similar stretch in his first year in Baltimore and ended up leading the team in multiple offensive categories.
"He's been here before, and the next two weeks before the All-Star break is going to be big for him, the kind of year that he's going to have," Presley said. "He knows what he's going into contract-wise, [that] probably has an effect on you, too."
Reynolds is making $7.5 million this season and has an $11 million club option for 2013, which features a 500,000 buyout. If the Orioles don't pick up his option, Reynolds will still have accrued enough service time to be arbitration-eligible, although he could be non-tendered, which would grant him free agency.
Asked if his contract situation is something in the back of his head, Reynolds said: "Not really. Everything will take care of itself. At the end of the year, I think my numbers will be there, maybe not as high as years past because I missed some [at-bats on the DL]. I'm just trying to be consistent at the dish and have some good ABs and help us out."
Reliever Matt Lindstrom threw an inning in the Gulf Coast League Wednesday, allowing a run on two hits to the Red Sox, and he will throw two innings for Double-A Bowie on Friday and an inning on Sunday. With the Orioles having an off-day Monday, Lindstrom could be activated as early as Tuesday.
Dontrelle Willis will make his first start of the season for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday. Willis, who was signed to a Minor League deal this spring, was stretched out to start after he suffered a forearm injury as a reliever, and he will join the Tides' rotation. Jason Berken was originally scheduled to start that game.
Joel Pineiro, who threw five innings in the GCL on Tuesday, reported some bicep tenderness following the start. It's nothing serious, but he will stay in the GCL for now.
Nick Johnson got his second start this month, playing first base and batting sixth for Wednesday's finale. Johnson has started in five games at first base.
Jamie Moyer made his third start for Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday, allowing one run on three hits in four innings. In his three Triple-A starts, Moyer has posted a 1.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 16 frames.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.