Hardy Returns to Baltimore


J.J. Hardy returns to the lineup for the Baltimore Orioles tonight as they square off against the Seattle Mariners.  Hardy had been on the team’s 15 day DL with an oblique strain.

The shortstop last appeared for the O’s April 9th in a game against the Texas Rangers.  Hardy left that contest after he felt his side grab during his first at bat.

Even though the team had last year’s shortstop Cesar Izturis on the roster, they decided to give Robert Andino the lion’s share of playing time during Hardy’s absence.

While Izturis is well known for his glove work, it is also pretty well known that he swings a wiffle ball bat.  Hardy is set to become a free agent after this season, and the club wanted to get a better idea of what they have in Andino.

The former Marlin saw some success filling in for the injured Hardy.  He’s dropped off of late, batting .105 in the month of May, but he has managed an overall line of .277/.390/.338 this season.

While Andino has shown that he may be able to hold his own, the Orioles will certainly be welcoming back Hardy.  The lineup looks that much better with J.J. in the 9 hole.  In the five games before his injury, Hardy scored 4 runs and hit 3 doubles.  The O’s offense needs all of the help they can get, as they have only been able to muster a paltry 3.9 runs a game this year.

To make room for Hardy the Orioles designated longman Josh Rupe.  After he was able to win a spot in the O’s pen this spring, the righty has been pretty ineffective for the club, posting a 5.65 ERA.

The move gives Baltimore a 12 man staff and four bench players going forward.