Not long after signing his four-year, $44 million contract with the Braves in December, outfielder Nick Markakis underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck. He’s beginning to encouraging progress with an eye toward Opening Day.
According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, Markakis began hitting off a tee and throwing yesterday and repeated the same drills today. He’s still likely around two weeks away from his Grapefruit League debut, but he doesn’t think that he will need many at-bats to get tuned up for the season.
“I’ve still got some time left, so there is no rush,” Markakis said. “I’ll be fine with a week’s worth of at-bats.”
The Braves figure to have one of the National League’s worst offenses even with Markakis, but it’s nice to hear that he’s on track.
Markakis, 31, batted .276/.342/.386 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI across 155 games with the Orioles last season. He won his second American League Gold Glove Award in recognition of his defense in right field.