Hardy has no idea whether he will return to the lineup on Tuesday. He’s been on the bench for three of the last four games and was walking gingerly to his locker this morning, his movements clearly restricted.
“It feels better than yesterday,” he said. “It’s still a little bit tight, but it’s definitely getting better. We’ll see. I’m basically through my first round of treatments today. I’ll probably do the same thing again and go from there.”
Asked if he could play Tuesday, Hardy responded, “I don’t know. We’ll see. I told everyone the other day that once the muscles relax, then it happens really quick and you get better. But you’ve got to get those muscles to relax first.”
Hardy took ground balls yesterday in Detroit, the back tightening on the 21st one, but he skipped batting practice.
“Very, very frustrating,” he said. “It was probably the healthiest spring training I’ve had yet with everything feeling good, and then this came out of nowhere.”
Hardy still isn’t scheduled to undergo tests on his back.
“Probably something I’ll discuss with Richie (Bancells) after batting practice to see what direction we’re going to go with that,” said manager Buck Showalter. “If there’s a need. It hasn’t been expressed to me yet.”
Asked for his level of concern, Showalter replied, “On a scale of one to one? One.”
“I think because of the history and knowing J.J. Some of the stuff he played through last year, but not to this level,” Showalter said. “We just want it resolved now. Lot of guys have stuff that they play with that we don’t make note of, but this one just hampers him.
“I guess he counts ground balls. It was his 21st ground ball, just kind of locked up on him. He’s better today than he was yesterday, so we’ll see what the game brings, see what he feels like by game time if he’s available.”
If Hardy isn’t available, Showalter won’t announce it to the Yankees.
Down in Sarasota, left-hander Johan Santana will throw a two-inning simulated game today at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
Dylan Bundy is scheduled to throw 30 pitches today, all of them fastball. He will incorporate changeups in his next session, then breaking balls.
Showalter also said third baseman Manny Machado is having a “step up” day, with increased baseball activities.
Outfielder Francisco Peguero will begin a hitting progression and baseball activities today after having the cast removed from his right wrist.
Outfielder Nolan Reimold continues to receive treatment on his neck but isn’t performing baseball activities.