Markakis plays in opener with neck feeling better
BALTIMORE -- Nick Markakis came through batting practice fine, and he'll suit up in right field for Baltimore's Opening Day contest against Boston, batting leadoff on Monday afternoon.
Markakis has been dealing with some neck spasms that started on the team flight to Norfolk, Va., on Saturday, and he said Monday morning he felt a lot better.
"I've been here long enough to know which injuries I can baby and which injuries I need to take care of," Markakis said. "This is one that is kind of in between."
Markakis will be making his eighth Opening Day start for the Orioles, who had several new faces for the orange carpet, including their No. 5-ranked prospect Jonathan Schoop, who got the start at second base and will bat ninth. Ryan Flaherty, a former Rule 5 Draft pick, took over third-base duties in Manny Machado's absence, with non-roster invitee Delmon Young starting at designated hitter against Red Sox lefty Jon Lester.
Machado takes part in Opening Day ceremonies
BALTIMORE -- Although he's on the disabled list, third baseman Manny Machado will still enjoy Monday's Opening Day, with the 21-year-old scheduled to trot out on the orange carpet and receive his American League Gold Glove Award.
"[Stinks] not to be out there playing, but it's Opening Day no matter ... if I'm on the field or off the field," Machado said. "It is the best day of the year. It's the start of a new journey, and to be a part of this, it's a great privilege. I'm going to put on this Orioles uniform, I'm part of this team. I know I can't help them right now, but I can help them later in the long run. I'm enjoying this moment, every possible second I can. It's a privilege to put on the Orioles' Opening Day uniform."
Machado, who is recovering from left knee surgery, will fly back to Sarasota, Fla, on Tuesday to continue his rehab with Ryan Flaherty getting the start at third for Opening Day.
"I'm doing stuff on the ground. Not necessarily running, but we are at the point where we need to start strengthening it a little more so we can get back to sprinting and 100 percent," Machado said of his progression. "My 100 percent is there, it's just when I get there and how. So we are just doing strengthening stuff at this point and get the quads, knee stable enough."
• The Orioles players and staff wore orange bracelets to honor of public relations director Monica Barlow, who passed away this spring due to lung cancer. Barlow also had a memorial plaque and had her orange jacket hung on the back of her chair in the press box
• The primary long man is expected to be Josh Stinson, with lefties Zach Britton and Brian Matusz also capable of doing that job if needed
• Had Markakis not played, Nelson Cruz would have moved to right field and David Lough would have started in left field
• With three off-days in the first three weeks of the season, Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris will be in the bullpen during their side-session days as needed.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.