Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 5/31/12

Bad news for the Baltimore Orioles, as right fielder Nick Markakis will miss 3-4 weeks after breaking the hamate bone in his hand. Roch Kubatko of MASN is reporting that the injury first occured seven or ten days ago on a slide into second base, but the full break occured on Tuesday while swinging.

The Orioles are exploring various internal options to replace Markakis on the roster, including Xavier Avery, Lew Ford, Jai Miller, and Jamie Hoffman. Avery is the only one who's been in the majors this year, and in 15 games in the majors, he OPSed .616 with four stolen bases. In AAA Norfolk, Avery has an .832 OPS, five homers, and eight stolen bases, Ford has a .941 OPS in 12 games, Miller has a .719 OPS (but seven homers) in 45 games, and Hoffman has a .724 OPS and six stolen bases in 48 games.

The options for the first-place O's are slim, but here's the thing...Markakis isn't exactly lighting the world on fire this year. While he has eight homers, his OPS is just .785, and his defense hase been pretty awful according to both DRS and UZR. I don't think his loss for the better part of a month is really going to cripple the team, but it's not like they're going to vastly improve without him, either.

In perhaps more important news for the team, Kubatko is also reporting that Adam Jones iced his wrist after being plunked last night, and will be fine. Jones has not only been the most valuable player on the Orioles this year, he's also been one of the most valuable players in the league. If he would be in line to miss a significant amount of time, the Orioles would be in real trouble.

Photo courtesy of Daylife.com

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