Baltimore Orioles: J.J. Hardy undergoes tests on sore lower back


Just a few days after the Baltimore Orioles announced Chris Tillman‘s shoulder injury,  J.J. Hardy will undergo tests on a sore lower back.

When the Baltimore Orioles suited up for their first official team workout, J.J. Hardy was noticeably absent from the field. Many offered an explanations as to why Hardy wasn’t running drills with his teammates.

Was Hardy sick? Did he have a family emergency?

No, and no.

As it turns out, Hardy was suffering back issues and underwent an MRI yesterday. He’s scheduled to undergo a CT Scan today.

Once the Orioles get the results, they can assess just how serious Hardy’s injury is. But as it turns out, asking Manny Machado to work out at shortstop wasn’t just because of the World Baseball Classic. They had Machado work out at shortstop in case Hardy is ailing and lands on the disabled list to begin the season.

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It’s surprising when a player arrives at Spring Training and suddenly has an injury. It’s not what you want to hear when you’re trying to have a healthy roster compete against your American League East foes.

The Orioles are already going to be down a starter after Chris Tillman announced his shoulder injury from last season flared up. Right now, Kevin Gausman is the favorite to be the new Opening Day starter, but it could be weeks before Buck Showalter announces a new starter.

Neither Hardy or Tillman acknowledged they were hurting during Orioles FanFest just a few weeks back.

So who would be a reliable replacement on the bench should Hardy go on the disabled list and Machado has to play shortstop? The Orioles currently have non-roster invitees such as Johnny Giavotella, Chris Johnson, Robert Andino and Ryan Flaherty. The problem is Giavotella and Andino have never played third, and Flaherty is…well, Flaherty. That could leave Johnson as the remaining option.

The Orioles weren’t going to play Hardy in an abundance of Spring Training games to begin with, mainly because of the extended Spring schedule.

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However, the Orioles would like to know how serious Hardy’s injury is so they can plan accordingly going forward.