Markakis on track for return after All-Star break

Markakis on track for return after All-Star break

Markakis on track for return after All-Star break
SEATTLE -- The reports on Nick Markakis' first few batting practice sessions have been positive, and the Orioles remain optimistic the right fielder will be activated immediately after the All-Star break.

"That's what the hope is," manager Buck Showalter said of Markakis, who is tentatively scheduled to start playing in rehab games for Double-A Bowie on Thursday or Friday.

Markakis, who has been working out with Class A Short-Season Aberdeen, will join catcher Taylor Teagarden and possibly left fielder Endy Chavez as Baltimore hopes to get a boost after the break with the return of several healthy players.

Teagarden started his rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League on Monday and is slated to catch for Double-A Bowie Friday after serving at designated hitter the day before that. Acquired in an offseason trade with Texas, Teagarden has been sidelined since the spring with a lower back injury. If he can prove he's healthy, he is expected to replace Ronny Paulino as the team's backup catcher.

"We wouldn't take him from the Gulf Coast league to here," Showalter said when asked if the team was considering easing Teagarden back in with extended time in the Minors. "But if we get him catching three or four games [with Bowie] if you think about what he might do here, we aren't going to be catching him every day. Hope not. Not that he's bad, but it means something's the matter with Matt [Wieters]."

Chavez (left hamstring strain) is behind both Markakis and Teagarden with his progression but has been cleared to run and participate in baseball activities at the team's spring facility in Sarasota, Fla.