It’s time to get busy again after yesterday’s off-day.
Please watch your step while I’m dripping with sarcasm. I wouldn’t want you to slip and fall.
Infielder Ryan Flaherty will be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to replace shortstop J.J. Hardy, who’s going on the disabled list with a hairline fracture in his left foot. In case you haven’t memorized this part, Flaherty can return sooner than Thursday because he’s replacing an injured player.
Hardy will be out at least four weeks. I’ve heard four to six and six to eight. It’s a broad estimation.
My guess is Manny Machado starts at shortstop tonight in the series opener against the Yankees at Camden Yards, with Flaherty handling the hot corner. I understand that most fans are clamoring for Machado to move over, but I never consider it a slam-dunk decision when you’re taking him away from a position where he’s won two Gold Gloves and a Platinum Glove.
Machado is a real difference-maker at third base. No one else on the roster comes close. He’s certain to get plenty of starts in Hardy’s spot, but I wouldn’t mark him down for every game unless you’re using pencil.
Paul Janish could have his contract purchased from Norfolk after he returns from paternity leave. He’s an exceptional shortstop and manager Buck Showalter is quite comfortable running him out there.
Britton could pitch in the Yankees series after his MRI yesterday confirmed the X-ray results. The weekend series against the Athletics may seem like a more realistic goal, but he’s going to avoid the disabled list while recovering from a sprain.
For what it’s worth, yesterday’s injury news played out as predicted here. Good for Britton and bad for Hardy and Hunter Harvey.
Harvey is only 21 and his arm appears to be fine. If it stays that way, the sports hernia surgery looks more like a glitch compared to the organization’s past concerns about his elbow. You know the procedure that’s been whispered after Harvey had to be shut down multiple times with a strained right flexor mass.
It’s an unfair baseball world that sidelines the young prospect again, but the Orioles are confident that he’ll pitch later this summer and restart his climb up the system’s ladder.
If Harvey is back on a mound by July, it will mark two full years since his last appearance at Single-A Delmarva. I’d be more concerned if it was due to the same injury in his elbow, but he’s been sidelined with a fractured fibula and tear in his groin. That’s just bad luck.
Harvey is a special talent. Showalter and pitching coach Dave Wallace believed in 2014 that the kid might be a contributor out of the bullpen in September. It’s just necessary to hit the restart button again and hope the black cloud dissipates over his head.
As for tonight’s game, Chris Tillman will try to stay on his starting roll. He’s 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.080 WHIP in five games this season and has allowed two runs and six hits over 12 2/3 innings in his last two outings.
Tillman’s innings have climbed from two on opening day - the weather forcing him out early - to five, 5 1/3, six and 6 2/3. He was pulled in his last start at Tropicana Field because Showalter wanted to use Darren O’Day, Brad Brach and Britton.
Tillman is 6-6 with a 4.96 ERA in 16 career starts against the Yankees, with a 1.617 WHIP in 85 1/3 innings. Alex Rodriguez is 6-for-13 with four home runs and nine RBIs, Mark Teixeira is 9-for-23 with two doubles and Didi Gregorius is 4-for-7 with two doubles and a triple.
Dustin Ackley is 3-for-16 with a triple and Brian McCann is 3-for-15.
The Orioles fell into second place in the American League East with the Red Sox’s win Sunday night over the Yankees, who are nestled in last place with an 8-15 record. They’ve lost five in a row.
The Yankees began last night ranked 14th in the American League and 24th in the majors with a 4.79 ERA. Their rotation was last in the league and 27th in the majors with a 5.16 ERA.
Right-hander Luis Severino is 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA and 1.780 WHIP in four starts, with 15 runs and 32 hits in 19 2/3 innings. In his only career start against the Orioles, he gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings in the second game of an Oct. 3 doubleheader at Camden Yards. Machado and Nolan Reimold homered.
Note: Former Orioles pitcher Steve Johnson will be inducted into the St. Paul’s Hall of Fame in October.
Johnson is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in seven relief appearances at Triple-A Tacoma. He’s allowed four runs and 10 hits in 16 innings, with two walks and 20 strikeouts.
The Mariners figure to purchase his contract sooner rather than later, as they say in the business. Or as Showalter is fond of saying, it’s not if but when.