Early projections have Hardy missing six to eight weeks, but the Orioles won’t hold him to it.
“Everybody’s different,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette. “It depends how quickly he heals. He’ll need a little bit of time. But it’s a slight fracture.”
Ryan Flaherty will fly into Baltimore tonight and officially be recalled before Tuesday night’s game against the Yankees at Camden Yards. He can play all four infield positions and likely would handle third while Manny Machado moved to short.
Also, the Orioles want to get back to a four-man bench and appear ready to purchase infielder Paul Janish’s contract after he returns from paternity leave. It could happen Friday or Saturday during the series against the Athletics that closes out the homestand.
“We have Flaherty and Janish in the organization and they’re both capable players,” Duquette said. “Janish did well last year when we brought him up and Flaherty has been an all-purpose utility player for us.”
Known only for his glove, Janish was 15-for-51 with a double, home run and seven RBIs in 27 games in spring training. He’s batting .318/.348/.333 in 19 games with Triple-A Norfolk.
The Orioles re-signed Janish to a minor league contract that includes opt-out clauses if he isn’t promoted to the majors.
“Janish looked good in the spring and he hit well at Triple-A,” Duquette said. “Both of those guys are familiar with the team and have done good work for us.
“Janish is a great defensive shortstop. He’s a true shortstop.”
Manager Buck Showalter has made do with a three-man bench, but it won’t stay that way much longer.
“It’s in our best interest to have an extra bench player,” Duquette said. “I’m sure there are times when that would be the preference.”
The Orioles will be more comfortable surrendering an extra bullpen arm once closer Zach Britton is ready to resume pitching. The follow-up MRI on his left ankle this afternoon matched the results of his X-rays.
“He feels pretty good,” Duquette said. “The MRI was benign, so he may just need a little bit more time. Who knows? But he said he feels good, the ankle’s good.”