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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