Orioles Shortstop J.J. Hardy Close To Returning

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J.J. Hardy Coming Off Disabled List Tuesday

The Baltimore Orioles invested a lot of effort and money to completely rebuild their lineup, but one of their big acquisitions, shortstop J.J. Hardy, hasn't played since April 9th because of an oblique strain. But Hardy went 2-for-9 with three walks in his three rehab games at Triple-A, and the team is going to activate him before its series against the Seattle Mariners. From the Baltimore Sun:

(Hardy) was initially scheduled to play a fourth game for the Tides tonight, but the club opted to give him the day off before his likely return to the lineup tomorrow...

...The Orioles are expected to demote a pitcher and return to a 12-man staff to open up a 25-man roster spot for Hardy.

In Hardy's absence, the Orioles have been getting some amazing on-base work from Robert Andino, who is sporting a .390 on-base percentage. Five of the nine Orioles regulars have an OBP below .300, so it's not a given that Andino will sit every day once Hardy comes back.

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J.J. Hardy To Begin Rehab Assignment

Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy hasn't played since April 9, when he suffered a strain of his left oblique after taking an awkward swing in the second game of a doubleheader. Hardy took batting practice today, though, and reports were positive. From the Baltimore Sun:

Hardy will fly to Baltimore tomorrow, pick up his equipment at Camden Yards and join either Single-A Frederick or Triple-A Norfolk for the start of a rehab stint Friday.

In Hardy's place, the Orioles have received surprising production from utility player Robert Andino, who has hit .291/.381/.364 over 55 at-bats. According to the Sun, the goal seems to be to get Hardy into the lineup when the Seattle Mariners visit Baltimore next week, though that depends on how well the rehab assignments go.

Hardy is one of several new faces in the Orioles' lineup this year, coming over from the Twins in the offseason for a pair of relief prospects.

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J.J. Hardy Should Miss 2-3 Weeks With Oblique Injury

On Sunday, we learned that Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy probably had an oblique strain that would force him to the disabled list. There was initial concern that the injury could keep Hardy on the shelf for well more than a month, but nobody wanted to say anything for sure until Hardy had his scheduled Monday MRI.

Well, Hardy's had his scheduled Monday MRI, and it turns out things aren't as bad as feared. Says Jeff Zrebiec:

Mri on jj hardys oblique reveals a strain. He'll be out probably between two to three weeks. #orioles

A 2-3 week DL stint is a heck of a lot better than a six-week DL stint, and while the Orioles probably won't feel great about handing the keys to short over to Cesar Izturis and Robert Andino, they'll do so knowing this could have been worse.

If Hardy's able to recover without hitting any setbacks, he should return to the starting lineup by the end of April or beginning of May.

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J.J. Hardy Oblique Injury Could Keep Shortstop Out Six Weeks

At 6-2 and sitting in first place, it's been a magical early part of the season for the Baltimore Orioles. But now, here comes the adversity. The team's already had to place starting pitcher Brian Matusz on the DL. They've already had to place starting pitcher Justin Duchscherer on the DL. And now they'll get to place starting shortstop J.J. Hardy on the DL as well.

Hardy had to leave one of Saturday's games against the Rangers with what was later determined to most likely be a strained oblique. He hasn't yet undergone an MRI to reveal the severity of the injury, but the Orioles are concerned he may end up having to miss six weeks of action as he recovers. Oblique strains are everywhere these days, and they're nasty, nasty things.

We'll have to see how much time Hardy ends up missing. The shortstop had been 3-15 in the young season with three doubles. He'll be replaced by Cesar Izturis, with Robert Andino also getting a little action of his own.

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