Nick Markakis RF BAL 3 Months

Nick Markakis will make his first start of the season at first base on Saturday.

With Chris Davis sidelined, the O's are forced to get creative with their lineup as they don't have a true backup at the position on the roster. Markakis has played just three major league games at first base in his career, all during the 2011 season.

Nick Markakis RF BAL 3 Months

Nick Markakis had a nice night at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a walk in Friday's loss to the Royals.

He's enjoying a strong start to the 2014 season hitting atop the Orioles lineup, slashing .293/.353/.359 with six RBI and a pair of stolen bases in his first 22 games.

Nick Markakis RF BAL 3 Months

Nick Markakis went 2-for-5 with an RBI, a walk, and two runs scored against the Red Sox on Friday.

Markakis now has back-to-back multi-hit games, pulling his batting average up to .273 for the year. He has only drawn two walks through 15 games, which isn't ideal as a leadoff man. But history suggests that he should get his fair share of free passes as the season moves along.

Nick Markakis RF BAL 4 Months

Nick Markakis (neck) is in the Orioles' starting lineup for Monday's season-opener.

Markakis made it through a couple rounds of batting practice on Monday morning without issue and was then added to the lineup as the leadoff man and right fielder. He was held out of the Orioles' final few Grapefruit League games due to discomfort in his neck. The full Baltimore lineup for Opening Day: RF Nick Markakis, SS J.J. Hardy, CF Adam Jones, 1B Chris Davis, LF Nelson Cruz, C Matt Wieters, DH Delmon Young, 3B Ryan Flaherty, 2B Jonathan Schoop. Chris Tillman is pitching.

Nick Markakis RF BAL 4 Months

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is undecided whether he'll put Nick Markakis (neck) in the lineup Opening Day.

Markakis was scratched from the Orioles' Grapefruit League lineup Saturday with a stiff neck. He felt better Sunday but still isn't feeling 100 percent. Showalter has made out two lineup cards -- one with Markakis in it and one without him in it -- and will wait a while longer before making a decision on the outfielder's status.

Nick Markakis RF BAL 4 Months

Nick Markakis (neck) expects to be in the lineup on Opening Day.

Markakis was scratched from the Orioles' Grapefruit League lineup Saturday with a stiff neck, but he said he would have been in there had it been a regular season game. The outfielder batted a healthy .356/.370/.600 with one home run this spring.

Nick Markakis RF BAL 4 Months

Nick Markakis was scratched from the Orioles' Grapefruit League lineup Saturday with a stiff neck.

Bad timing, as the O's open the regular season on Monday. It's unclear now if Markakis will be ready.

Nick Markakis RF BAL 5 Months

Nick Markakis is nursing some minor shoulder tendinitis.

Markakis won't play Friday but could return to action Saturday in the DH spot. It's not a concern as long as the ailment doesn't get any worse.

Nick Markakis RF BAL 5 Months

Nick Markakis went 4-for-4 with a triple and two doubles as the Orioles crushed the Phillies 15-4 on Friday.

Markakis figured to be the Orioles' leadoff man, but manager Buck Showalter has been giving David Lough a long look in that role this spring. While Markakis hit second behind Lough today, that will be Manny Machado's spot once he's healthy. It makes one wonder just where Markakis might hit to begin the year. He's not going to be much of an asset in homers or steals, so much of his value hinges on him batting high in the lineup and racking up a ton of at-bats in front of superior hitters. He still looks like the best option in the leadoff spot from here.

Nick Markakis RF BAL 11 Months

Nick Markakis homered and singled against the Yankees on Thursday.

The homer off David Huff was just his second in 2 1/2 months. It was a solo shot, of course: he has one multi-RBI game in the last three months (two RBI on Aug. 14).