J.J. Hardy of the Baltimore Orioles has a hairline fracture in his foot and will miss six to eight weeks. The Orioles are expected to recall Ryan Flaherty.
The Baltimore Orioles received some bad but not unexpected news yesterday on J.J. Hardy. As a result of fouling a pitch off of his left foot yesterday afternoon, Hardy is headed to the Disabled List. He’s expected to miss six to eight weeks.
This is quite a blow to an Orioles’ team that relies so heavily on it’s defense behind it’s pitchers. The Birds have played exemplary defense thus far in 2016, and Hardy’s been a major part of that. However the good news is that the Orioles have options.
Ryan Flaherty is expected to be the corresponding move to placing Hardy on the DL. Flaherty you’ll remember was surprisingly sent down to Norfolk last week, and
in fact he wasn’t technically eligible to be recalled until this coming Thursday. However by virtue of the fact that the move will correspond with an injury, they’re able to make it.
Call to the Pen
Hardy left the game yesterday in the fifth inning after fouling a ball off of his foot. He underwent an x-ray yesterday at the ballpark, and a CT scan this morning – which revealed the hairline fracture. However keep in mind that the Orioles have always been a next man up type of team. They’ve had injuries before, and they’ve managed to thrive.
I would look at this as an opportunity if I were Ryan Flaherty. That’s always how it works in a sense – someone gets hurt, and someone else has a shot to make a big splash. And incidentally folks, that’s not something that’s unique to baseball. How many starting quarterbacks in the NFL have gotten hurt only to have their backups end up playing better and taking their job at the end of the day. Does anyone even remember that Drew Bledsoe played for the New England Patriots? Of course not, because he got injured and Tom Brady took his spot.
I suspect that the odds of Flaherty truly performing better than a perennial all-star like J.J. Hardy are probably very slim. However what he can do is to work to be a solid replacement. I’ve always said that I felt shortstop was the most important infield position because you have to cover short, the hole, and sometimes second base. Plus you see the entire (in)field in a sense.
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I do believe that Flaherty will perform well in Hardy’s absence. While this is a call up from the minors, everyone knows Ryan Flaherty and what he’s capable of doing. This isn’t some unknown prospect who’s never been here before. Obviously when Hardy returns it’ll be his position. But the hope for the Orioles’ sake is that Flaherty fills the role to the best of his ability.
The Orioles will open up a three-game set with New York this evening at Camden Yards. Chris Tillman will be on the mound for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Luis Severino. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.