J.J. Hardy Diagnosed With Wrist Fracture

Posted: June 19, 2017 in Uncategorized
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Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy has been diagnosed with a fracture in his right wrist and won’t be able to resume baseball activities for four to six weeks, the Orioles announced to reporters (Twitter link via the Baltimore Sun’s Jon Meoli). Hardy won’t undergo surgery but will be in a soft cast for some time. He’ll need additional time to ramp back up after that initial four- to six-week healing period. Speculatively speaking, a late-July return seems like a best-case scenario, though his absence certainly could linger into August as well.

Hardy was struck on the wrist by a 93mph fastball from Lance Lynn over the weekend, and manager Buck Showalter told reporters yesterday that the prognosis was “not good” following initial x-rays. The O’s have Ruben Tejada on the roster as a backup, and he could conceivably step into the everyday shortstop role for the next several weeks. Veteran Paul Janish and the younger Luis Sardinas are both options to step into a utility slot if Tejada does take on a larger role with the O’s, though neither is on the 40-man roster.

From a purely speculative standpoint, if the Orioles want to get a bit more creative, the team could slide Manny Machado over to shortstop, as it did following Hardy’s 2016 injury. That could allow the Orioles to give Chris Davis some time at the hot corner and get Trey Mancini’s bat into the lineup more regularly at first base. However, while the Orioles did use Davis at third base in two games (one start) earlier this month while Machado was ailing, there’s no indication that the team would be comfortable doing so on a long-term basis while Hardy is on the shelf. Davis has nearly 750 innings of experience at third base in his career, but the 10 frames he’s played there in 2017 are his first action at the hot corner since 2014.

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