BALTIMORE – With his left groin bothering him and in a 4-for-48 slump that has his average down to .220, J.J. Hardy is out of the lineup on Sunday. Ryan Flaherty starts at shortstop.
“Just trying to see if we can get some help clearing it up and I think he could use it, and Ryan needs to play. It’s about three-fold. A good time for it. He can play. He’s available to play,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Hardy hurt the groin on Friday night.
“It feels better today. I think it’s a real good sign,” Hardy said.
He doesn’t want to say injuries have caused him to slump.
“I’m not going to make an excuse. Everybody here is dealing with something. I’ve just got to swing the bat batter,” Hardy said.
Showalter hopes that the day will help. If it were earlier in the season, he isn’t sure how he would treat the injury.
“The answer probably would be, it’s either a [disabled list] or not a DL. Would I consider DL’ing him? I don’t think it’s that type of injury. Probably not three or four [days]. At least one and got day-to-day and see how he’s feeling. He’s not going to be after a day or so: ‘I’m fine. I’m 100 percent, everything’s hunky-dory. A day would be fine, it would solve a lot of things. It’s a good time for it, I think,” Showalter said.
“The reason we’re talking about it is we have something to compare it with. We’ve seen J.J. hit 30 home runs in a year, I think, and we’ve seen him do other things. He’s spoiled us at a level that he’s not at at the moment, but it’s there. It’s trying to get to it. I’ve been around some players that really don’t tell you about a lot of things until after the season’s over. When J does bring something out, you know it’s something you should pay attention to.”
Over the past two seasons, Hardy has had a variety of injuries.
“It seems like he’s gotten one thing behind him, and it’s another challenge. He’ll play tomorrow and he can play today,” Showalter said.