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Showalter confident Markakis will rebound next year

Showalter confident Markakis will rebound next year

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis is coming off the worst year of his career, but manager Buck Showalter cautioned reporters about counting out the 30-year-old's bounce-back ability.

"You get some people who always want you to know what is wrong with them. With Nick, probably half the things [injury-wise] we don't even know," Showalter said of Markakis, who had three surgeries within the calendar year in 2012. "Someone told me the other day that is about as good as he's felt and looked in a long time.

"We'll see. Most of it is health. He is such an internal guy with things like that. Through the years, guys with his approach and makeup, you make a big mistake counting them out."

Markakis hit .271/.329/.356 in 160 games last season and could be an option at leadoff in 2014 if the club doesn't make an external move.

"He's a candidate," Showalter said. "He's one of the guys, if I have to fill it internally, he's a guy that, at the end of the day, we'd look at. In a perfect world, I'd rather not, but I could and I think Nick would do a fine job."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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