For the next six-to-eight weeks, the Baltimore Orioles will be without two-time All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy, who suffered a hairline fracture in his left foot after fouling a ball off of it during the fourth inning of Sunday’s game.
X-rays that followed Hardy’s departure from the game sparked serious concerns for the Orioles, enough to prompt further testing. The injury was initially labeled as a contusion, but the results of Monday’s CT scan showed the ailment is much more serious.
Since Hardy is expected to miss at least over a month, Baltimore’s roster will have the opportunity to showcase it’s flexibility during his absence.
To replace Hardy, the O’s are expected to recall infielder Ryan Flaherty from the Triple-A Norfolk Tides. Flaherty was not supposed to be able to join the major-league team until Thursday, unless he was needed in an injury situation. Now, since an injury situation has presented itself, it’s anticipated that Flaherty will be in uniform with the Orioles for their game against the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
In addition to Flaherty, the Orioles also may consider Paul Janish as an option at the shortstop position. Janish is going on paternity leave Wednesday, but he will likely be in consideration for a role upon his return to the club.
Orioles star and primary third baseman Manny Machado could play shortstop, and Flaherty — who is also capable of playing short — could take over the hot corner. Sluggers Pedro Alvarez and Chris Davis could play third, too.
The 33-year-old Hardy, an acclaimed defender, has not made an error in 81 total chances across 188 innings of fieldwork this season and boasts a career .983 fielding percentage in nearly 12,000 innings since 2005.
His stellar work in the field has led to three Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. And, most noteworthy, Hardy has flashed his fair share of high-quality plays.
In 22 games for the O’s this season, Hardy is batting .244 with two homers, seven doubles, eight RBIs, and eleven runs scored.