Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis has made enough progress in his recovery from abdominal surgery that he will make his first Grapefruit League appearance on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ed Smith Stadium.

The original plan called for Markakis to play in the last 10-12 exhibition games, so the Mar. 14 start is a modest acceleration of his rehabilitation program. He'll make his first start in the designated hitter slot and probably continue to DH for a few games before going out to right field.

Manager Buck Showalter made that announcement on Thursday morning, before the Orioles took the field for their exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves. The decision was made after a meeting involving Markakis, Showalter and the training staff to map out the remainder of his rehab program.

"I think that was my main purpose[Thursday] morning was to sit down with Buck and the trainers and figure out a schedule for the next couple weeks," Markakis said. "We got a schedule planned out with some openings here and there to plug in some [at-bats]or get in the outfield. It's the nice thing about having the minor league complex so close now. I can get over there and get some at-bats if I need them."