SARASOTA, Fla. - Shortstop J.J. Hardy remained absent from the Orioles’ workouts today as the full squad gathered on the back fields. He also wasn’t in camp.
Hardy left the complex to receive a CT scan on his sore lower back. He had an MRI yesterday and the Orioles wanted to follow up with further testing.
Hardy was in street clothes this morning while teammates put on their spring uniforms and headed outdoors.
Manny Machado worked out at shortstop this morning for one of the drills on the Camden Yards replica field. He’s going to play the position before heading to the World Baseball Classic on March 5.
The Orioles would have slow-played Hardy, 34, but the discomfort in his back is keeping him from performing drills.
Robert Andino worked out today upon his return to the Orioles and can play shortstop. Ryan Flaherty is capable of playing all four infield positions. Veteran Paul Janish remains a minor league free agent.
Hardy is in the final guaranteed year of his contract, which includes a $14 million vesting option for 2018 and $2 million buyout. He told reporters at FanFest last month that he felt good physically.
Hardy went on the disabled list May 3 with a fractured bone in his left foot. He wasn’t activated until June 18. He began the 2015 season on the DL with a sore shoulder and returned to it in August 2015 with a groin injury. He also missed time in 2014 due to back soreness.
Manager Buck Showalter will provide an update on Hardy following the workout.
Chris Tillman is expected to begin the season on the DL after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right shoulder in late December, ending his streak of three consecutive opening day starts.
Update: Hardy said he’s been experiencing back spasms since Jan. 27, the day before FanFest. He’s got one more test scheduled and doesn’t seem concerned at the moment. The only difference from previous episodes is the spasms started earlier.
Hardy said ideally he would begin baseball activities on March 1.