Hardy and Flaherty ready for rehab assignments

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy and infielder Ryan Flaherty will begin their injury rehab assignments on Monday at Double-A Bowie.

Both players are expected to play three games with the Baysox. They may skip the 11 a.m. game Thursday and use it as a travel day.

hardy flaherty highfive sidebar.jpgOrioles manager Buck Showalter is hoping that Hardy and Flaherty will join the team this weekend in New York. Flaherty, on the disabled list with a strained groin muscle, ran the bases again today and said he’s ready.

“We’ll take it one day at a time,” said manager Buck Showalter. “That’s encouraging. We’ll see how it goes.

“I feel confident that Ryan will with no setbacks and we’ll see how J.J. does each day.”

Hardy tracked pitches today.

“You can tell the look in his eyes,” Showalter said. “I asked him, ‘Are you nervous, excited?’ He said, ‘I’m excited more than anything.’ We’ll see how long it takes. We won’t push him.”

Showalter said Hardy may need only three rehab games, but he added, “We’ll give it what it needs.”

“Ryan’s not nearly as removed,” Showalter said.

Infielder Rey Navarro figures to be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for one player. The other corresponding move is a mystery.

Outfielder David Lough and infielder Jimmy Paredes are out of options and would have to pass through waivers and be outrighted. Paredes is batting .362 with three home runs and nine RBIs since coming off the disabled list.

Do the Orioles go with an 11-man pitching staff?

Left-hander Wesley Wright will pitch in his first extended spring training game on May 19.

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