BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter has two lineups made out for Monday's Opening Day: one with Nick Markakis and one without. Which one Showalter will use won't be decided until later on Sunday as Markakis -- dealing with neck spasms -- has improved but still isn't 100 percent.
"Still a little sore, hopefully it will get a little better," Showalter said of Markakis, who was a late scratch from Saturday's exhibition game in Norfolk, Va. "Theres some thought about him getting the benefit of another day with it. We will have our arms around it by the end of the day, I hope.
"I was hoping it would manage a little bit overnight better than it did. It's a touch better. We'll see if it's enough to play tomorrow."
Markakis had the issue occur on the team's plane from Sarasota, Fla., to Norfolk on Saturday and was getting treatment on the area on Sunday afternoon. The right fielder prides himself on being in the lineup every game, so it would take something considerable to keep him out. But with the team having a day off on Tuesday, it could be an easy way to make sure it's not a lingering issue.
With Boston sending lefty Jon Lester to the mound, Nelson Cruz is expected to play left field. David Lough could play the outfield in Markakis' absence if 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.