Markakis slated to return to lineup Tuesday

Markakis slated to return to lineup Tuesday

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Nick Markakis is expected to return to game action on Tuesday, and the tentative plan is for the right fielder to serve at designated hitter in the Orioles' Grapefruit League game against the Twins.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Markakis -- who last played March 1 -- was a "maybe" for Tuesday's starting lineup and it depends on how he comes through following Monday's batting practice. Markakis was cleared to resume baseball activities over the weekend and has progressed from tee work and soft toss to hitting on the field the past two days with no reported problems. He was diagnosed with a slight disk herniation earlier this month and the organization remains hopeful he will be ready for Opening Day.

Markakis won't be the only regular making the long road trip, with plans for Chris Davis, Brian Roberts, J.J. Hardy and possibly Matt Wieters and Adam Jones to also travel to Fort Myers for a bonding experience of sorts.

"We're going to be the Griswolds, a family road trip," Showalter said. "Some of these guys got to go and get some gray pants."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.