Nick Markakis facing six-week rehab from abdominal surgery

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Nick Markakis underwent surgery yesterday to repair a torn rectus abdominus muscle and may not be ready for the beginning of spring training.

Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com notes that Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman missed six weeks after undergoing the same surgery and Markakis told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that he won’t be cleared to do anything but walk for at least three weeks.

Connolly reports that the injury kept Markakis from doing any workouts this offseason, but when asked about his status for Opening Day the Orioles right fielder said: “I don’t think it’s an issue. It wont take me that long to get back in swing of things.”

If his recovery goes smoothly Markakis is probably right, but at the very least he figures to be behind schedule early in camp and may not be at 100 percent to begin the season even if he’s in the lineup.

Zach Davies replaces Gio Gonzalez on the Brewers roster

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Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.

That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.

That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.