Hardy hardly worried about double play partner

SARASOTA, Fla. - Today’s workout begins at 10 a.m., which means clubhouse access for the media from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Players will stretch and play catch before separating for infield drills, with the regulars occupying the Camden Yards field.

Up to this point, Robert Andino has been taking ground balls at second with the projected starters while Brian Roberts heads back indoors to swing off a tee and lift weights.

J.J. Hardy will need to get comfortable with all of the second base candidates, including Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty, Matt Antonelli and Steve Tolleson. That’s a lot of double play partners.

Not everyone is the same. It’s up to the shortstop to learn where the second baseman likes the ball when making the pivot on double plays.

“Right now, the way we’re set up, those guys are on another field and I’m on the field with Andino,” Hardy said. “Sometimes, someone will come over and help us out since we’re the only middle infielders on that field, so when we’re taking grounders, me and ‘Dino are getting a ton of work. There are two first baseman and there are two third baseman, so we’re getting double the ground balls and double the throws. Sometimes, they’ll bring someone over, but so far this spring it’s just been me and Andino.

“If something changes, then I’ll worry about it when it changes and we’ll figure that out. But right now, I feel like I’m familiar with both of them (Roberts and Andino) from the time that I spent with Brian last spring training. I don’t think it would take too long if something happens and Brian wakes up tomorrow and feels good and can do everything. I don’t think it would take that long for me to adjust to it.”

Hardy became familiar with Andino last summer because Roberts didn’t play after May 16.

“Me and Andino know each other pretty well,” Hardy said. “If it’s between those two, then I feel like I’m comfortable with both of them already, so whatever happens between that, I feel like I’ll be ready.”

I don’t think manager Buck Showalter will throw him a curve. Andino is clearly the second baseman if Roberts begins the season on the disabled list. Someone else will have to be the utility infielder.

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