More on Hardy, All-Star voting and tonight’s game

The Orioles are expected to place shortstop J.J. Hardy on the disabled list today after he undergoes another test on his right wrist. There wasn’t a shred of optimism following yesterday’s game, with X-rays raising concerns in the organization. The assumption is he sustained a break, far worse than the original announcement of a “contusion.”

jj-hardy-batting-orange-close.jpgIt’s unclear whether Hardy will receive a CT scan or an MRI. Manager Buck Showalter said only that it was “a scan.” I ran with CT scan on Twitter, others in the press box went with MRI.

Not that it matters, but there’s prize money at stake. OK, not really. I’m sure we’ll find out later this afternoon.

Bad luck continues to follow Hardy. He fouled a ball off his left foot last summer and missed around seven weeks with a fractured bone. Cardinals starter Lance Lynn drilled him yesterday with a 93 mph fastball on the bottom half of the wrist.

The Orioles were hit four times over the final two games, and they never retaliated. They knew the Cardinals weren’t aiming at them. Common sense prevailed. Imagine such a thing.

Anyway, as I wrote yesterday, Paul Janish and Luis Sardiñas are two non-roster infielders who could replace Hardy. Janish certainly has Showalter’s trust and admiration.

The other choice, of course, is moving Manny Machado to shortstop and weakening the Orioles at third base. No one comes close to Machado at the hot corner.

Hardy is a potential free agent after the season. His contract includes an $14 million club option for 2018. The option is guaranteed if Hardy accumulates 600 plate appearances this year or 1,150 in 2016 and 2017 combined. He had 438 last season.

A broken bone in the wrist is going to cause Hardy to miss significant time. It’s a bad break in more ways than one.

Meanwhile, the latest voting results for next month’s All-Star Game will be revealed Tuesday afternoon and no Orioles are expected to vault to the top at their respective positions.

Machado dropped to third place last week among American League third basemen and Welington Castillo fell to third among the catchers. Adam Jones dipped to 13th among the outfielders.

“Adam is 13th? That’s not right,” Showalter said.

Jonathan Schoop fell out of the top five a couple of weeks ago, but he’s batting .289/.343/.533 with 20 doubles, 13 home runs and 41 RBIs in 66 games. He seems to have a solid chance to represent the Orioles, though cases also can be made for Castillo and perhaps Dylan Bundy and Trey Mancini. Like I’ve said, so much depends on which positions have a vacancy.

Showalter said he thinks Schoop has “a shot, if there’s a need to fill a spot with us.”

“I don’t know if at some point I’ll get a call about a pitcher,” he added. “There’s a couple guys they could consider.”

The Indians are in town for a four-game series beginning tonight, but Showalter said he won’t corner Terry Francona and lobby for his players to be included on the AL roster.

“I don’t do that,” he said. “I get called about pitchers, about who would be available to pitch. I know people look at it as an exhibition. Some do. Believe me, the guys that are managing it have a certain pride about it.

“I don’t do that. I’ve been in Terry’s shoes managing that game (in 1995) and he’s got enough on his plate. It’s quite a responsibility. The biggest responsibility I felt like I had was to try to win the game and try to return everyone healthy to their teams.

“Believe me, there were a couple of guys I wanted to see if I could get them hurt that night, but I didn’t.”

But seriously ...

“It’s such a tough game to manage because you’re trying to get people in the game and still stay competitive. They’re such good players, it really doesn’t matter that much, but there have been some cases where you’ve had to use somebody when somebody else might have been a little better call. But am I going to campaign for our guys with Terry? No.”

Showalter turned in his ballot yesterday. The rosters will be announced on July 2.

The Orioles went 5-1 against the Indians, who won the American League pennant. They’re currently in first place in the American League Central with a 36-31 record, including 21-14 on the road. Yesterday marked their fifth win in a row.

“They’re doing well,” Showalter said. “They’ll seek their level. Had some ups and down. I don’t think anybody has any doubts where they’re going to be at the end of the year. Good club, well run.”

Corey Kluber has registered a 4.15 ERA and 1.207 WHIP in his nine starts this season. He placed third in Cy Young voting last season after going 18-9 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.056 WHIP in 32 starts.

Kluber spent a month on the disabled list with a lower back strain. In three starts since being activated, he’s allowed five runs and 13 hits with four walks and 28 strikeouts in 19 innings. He’s 1-1 with a 3.51 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles, with seven walks and 41 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings, and 1-1 with a 4.21 ERA in four starts at Camden Yards.

Hardy is 4-for-8 with a double and home run against Kluber. Adding insult to injury. Schoop is 4-for-9 with a double and home run.

Adam Jones is 2-for-14 with six strikeouts and Seth Smith is 2-for-12 with a double and six strikeouts.

Bundy went 2-0 with an unearned run allowed in 6 1/3 innings against the Indians last season. He earned his first major league win on May 27, 2016 with 1 1/3 scoreless relief innings in Cleveland, and his first win as a starter against the Indians on July 22 at Camden Yards.

blog comments powered by Disqus