Baltimore Orioles: J.J. Hardy Returns to the Lineup


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On Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles activated J.J. Hardy off the DL. The shortstop will immediately make his season debut batting seventh, after returning from a shoulder injury.

Hardy returns to the lineup as a guy who can make a a big impact. Offensively, shortstop has been the least productive position for the Orioles. Everth Cabrera and Ryan Flaherty have combined to hit .200 with a .221 OBP, one home run and five RBI’s.

Hardy played 141 games last year, hitting .268 with a .309 OBP, 9 home runs, and 52 RBI’s. Last year was the first time in Hardy’s four years in Baltimore that he did not hit over 20 home runs. Just two years ago, Hardy hit 25 balls out of the ballpark.

The Orioles certainly aren’t losing anything defensively either. Hardy has won the American League Gold Glove at shortstop each of the past three years.

Cabrera has done a decent job of filling in for Hardy, about as well as the Orioles could ask him to do, especially after Flaherty went down with an injury of his own. However, Baltimore is a team that has struggled for offense, and the return of Hardy should bring good things and should really bolster the offense.

Next: Orioles Offense Out of Sync