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Thu May 31, 2012 1:01am|
By Nicholas Minnix
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In the midst of a five-game losing streak, the Baltimore Orioles didn't need to hear that Nick Markakis has a broken hamate bone in his right wrist. He'll have surgery on Friday to remove the bone and will hit the disabled list for the first time in his career. Wednesday's series-ending tilt with the Toronto Blue Jays was the first game he'd missed this season.
Roch Kubatko, aka the coolest guy on the blog beat, reports that Markakis is believed to have initially injured the wrist a week and a half ago. His final at-bat on Tuesday night finished it off, theoretically. He could be back in three to four weeks after he has the relatively simple procedure on it.
The right fielder of Greek descent was in the midst of what fantasy managers were hoping might be a power breakthrough. Markakis' .256 average has been disappointing, but his eight home runs in 50 games put him on pace for a career high.
The injury will obviously make that personal milestone much tougher to reach. Hopefully, that's only because of the absence and not because of the ailment. The 28-year-old's marks for batted balls at Fangraphs weren't supporting his pace for home run output, anyway.
This development ensures that the recently activated Endy Chavez has a good chance to be a regular for at least the next month. In 70 plate appearances, he has a .123/.162/.162 slash line, which doesn't inspire confidence. He's had some poor at-bats this season, as O's fans will crossly relate. He's swinging and missing an awful lot.
The upside is that the prospect of consistent playing time should aid Chavez's effort to find his rhythm and produce something closer to his .270/.309/.367 lifetime slash line. If he picks it up, he can provide the occasional ding dong and a few stolen bases. And if he shows those signs of life, he'll be of use to those in deep leagues.
As the Roch notes, B-more is discussing its options to replace Markakis on the roster. The club just demoted Xavier Avery, but they're unlikely to bring him back because he was having such a tough time prior to his demotion. Lew Ford, Jai Miller and Jamie Hoffman are the other candidates. None should tickle a fantasy owner's fancy.
In the short term, the O's could attempt to play Wilson Betemit in left field, at least on occasion. Markakis' timing could've been better, considering that Nolan Reimold's return from a bulging disc in his neck is still not necessarily within sight.