By Olivia Witherite (@Oliviawitherite)
Everyone in Baltimore knows that right fielder Nick Markakis is nothing short of a workhorse. A constant presence in the outfield, the 28-year-old makes baserunners stop in their tracks when the ball hits his glove. In this decade of baseball, I can say that there are few players who can play the ball off the outfield wall as well as he can.
That being said, it is very obvious that he means a lot to the Orioles organization. But, how much exactly?
How about this: In 2011, Markakis didn’t have an error in 160 games.
I could honestly end the blog post right there, but let me continue. Last year, the player who many called “underrated” received his first Gold Glove. He has the highest active fielding percentage in the league.
He has been in the Top 5 in putouts in the last years. He led the league in outfield assists in 2008 and has been in the Top 5 in every year following.
He knows how to steal bases; last year, he stole 12. His batting average always hovers around .300. While he has looked a little lost from time to time at the plate this season, those watching the Orioles expect his bat to pick up any time soon.
Markakis underwent surgery this morning and had a hamate bone removed from his right wrist. He will now need three or four weeks to recover and rehab while remaining in Sarasota, Fla.
In another post from BirdsWatcher, the replacement for Markakis is discussed. Important talk, for sure. But for now, especially with the Orioles looking to a possible breaking point after a five-game losing streak, I have chosen not to speculate.
Rather, all I can do is look at the numbers and count down the number of days until Markakis returns to right.