Hardy going on DL with hairline fracture in foot (updated)

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy sustained a hairline fracture in his left foot yesterday and is expected to miss six to eight weeks, a harsh blow for a team so reliant on its defense.

Hardy was scheduled to undergo a CT scan after X-rays yesterday raised serious concerns within the organization. The injury was labeled a “contusion,” but further testing was ordered.

Today’s findings came as no surprise.

Hardy, 33, fouled a ball off his foot in the fourth inning, sending him to the trainers room and removing a three-time Gold Glove winner and two-time All-Star.

Hardy began last season on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury and didn’t appear in the lineup until May 7. He was bothered last month with tightness in his calf muscle, but only missed one game. He would have also sat out the April 9 game, but it was postponed due to inclement weather.

Hardy, in his sixth season with the Orioles, is batting .244/.291/.410 with seven doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs in 22 games. He remains the defensive leader of an infield that’s performing at an elite level.

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The Orioles are expected to recall infielder Ryan Flaherty from Triple-A Norfolk since he’d be replacing an injured player. Otherwise, he couldn’t return until Thursday. He accompanied the Tides to Louisville yesterday.

Paul Janish, a plus-defender at shortstop, also was a consideration, but he’s going on paternity leave Wednesday. He could come into play upon his return, since the Orioles have a short bench.

Manager Buck Showalter has options when writing out his lineups. Manny Machado can slide over to shortstop, with Flaherty getting the bulk of the starts at third base. Flaherty also is able to play short. Chris Davis and Pedro Alvarez can play third. It’s a flexible roster.

Putting Janish at shortstop would reduce the number of moves and allow the Orioles to keep Machado at third, where he’s won two Gold Gloves and a Platinum Glove.

Update: Flaherty is heading back to Baltimore tonight.

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