Is J.J. Hardy done?
This is a sad question to ask, but it is one that cannot be avoided. For years, Hardy was one of the best power-hitting shortstops in the American League. Injuries have essentially reduced him to a below-average player the past two years, and in 255 games, Hardy has slashed .247/.285/.346 with only 17 home runs.
Last year, a shoulder injury plagued Hardy all year, limiting him to only 114 mostly ineffective games. He elected to rehab his torn labrum rather than undergo surgery. Hardy also looked slower on the basepaths and in the field. Never one to draw a walk, Hardy has been reduced to a contact-hitting, low-OBP guy. The Orioles elected to give him a three-year extension, but shied away from Nick Markakis. So far, it appears the front office put its apples in the wrong basket. With a healthy shoulder in 2016, the Orioles have J.J. Hardy can reverse the downward trend. Father Time remains undefeated.