Orioles insider Roch Kubatcho is reporting that Orioles RF Nick Markakis broke his hammate bone “It’s believed that Markakis sustained the original injury while sliding into second base a week to 10 days ago, but the complete break occurred Tuesday night during his final at-bat in the ninth inning, when he lined out.” Originally this injury was feared as a season ender but it looks like now that he will be out for less than a month.
Obviously this is bad news for the O’s as we have been struggling lately anyways losing 8 of our last 10 and now our 2nd best hitter will be out for about a month. I am not sure exactly what roster move will be made once Nick goes on the DL but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Xavier Avery is called back up to become the starting RF for a month. If not expect Ryan Flaherty to get action out there and either way I am sure he will get more time. This is a pretty devastating loss for one of baseball’s best offenses as Markakis was really the Robin to Adam Jones’ Batman if you will and the middle of our lineup really has been murderer’s row this year for opponents. Some of our other guys are going to have to step up now but we don’t really have anybody who can come close to filling the role of Markakis. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Showalter pull what he did yesterday with either Chris Davis or Matt Wieters stepping into that #3 spot with the other behind him to provide some protection.
These next few weeks are easily the most important of the season for the Orioles in my opinion. They really have to hold it together before the calvary arrives and by the calvary I mean or walking wounded (or right now just wounded) in Roberts, Britton, Reimold, and Markakis. When those 4 return they could all and probably will all become starters for us and be our upgrade and if Roberts especially gives us anything of we he used to then our lineup will become lethal again and our pitching staff deep with Britton. Untill those guys return though expect a lot of Ryan Flaherty and Wilson Betemit in the lineup. Basically what this injury means is that our pitching staff is going to have to return to their April form or we are going to continue this losing streak because without Markakis we will definitely not put up the same run support they had. If we can just hang on for a few weeks though I think we got a shot this season because then we will have 4 starters returning and our lineup and pitching staff will be as deadly as ever. But these next 2 weeks could be rough… we just gotta hold on.