Roch around the clock


March 24, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

Nick Markakis started two straight games in center field before moving to left yesterday. Ryan Zimmerman looked as if he would try to score on a single, but he slammed on the brakes rather than test Markakis' arm. You don't run on The Natural.

A team official indicated earlier this week that a decision on Markakis could come down to the last few exhibition games, after the Orioles break camp. They have back-to-back meetings with the Nationals in Washington and Baltimore. But it sure seems like they're leaning toward keeping him, considering that I'm hearing how other teams have been told that Corey Patterson, Luis Matos and David Newhan are available in the right trade. Take your pick.

Patterson's availability might surprise some people. Matos has been the center fielder most likely to be dealt.

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