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Hardy won't put date on expected return

Hardy won't put date on expected return

BALTIMORE –- Buck Showalter knew J.J. Hardy was hurt during the fifth inning of Sunday’s game. A half-inning earlier, Hardy had fouled a ball off his left foot.

Showalter was removing Ubaldo Jimenez from the game, and he asked the shortstop about the foot. He said: ‘This is strange. It’s gotten real stiff and sore in a hurry.’’’

Hardy left the game after the fifth inning, and a CT Scan and MRI on Monday revealed a hairline fracture in his left foot. 

Neither nor Hardy nor the Orioles have spoken about how long he’s been out, but an industry source estimated on Monday he’d be out four to six weeks. For now, Hardy will be in a walking boot for two to three weeks. Others have estimated he could miss as long as eight weeks. 

“I had an idea after the game or when I came out of the game that something wasn’t right,” Hardy said. “Then, obviously with the X-ray, there was something they wanted to see closer. They kind of gave me a little heads-up that something could be wrong.”

Hardy missed 48 games last year and had two stints on the disabled list with a left shoulder and groin injuries. 

“After I fouled the ball off my foot, I didn’t think too much of it,” Hardy said. “I mean it hurt, but it wasn’t terrible. I jogged to first base and kind of felt the same thing, nothing terrible. Then when I got out in the field and the more I moved around, the worse it was getting instead of loosening up or going away. So, I knew it was something.” 

While he’s missed time, Hardy has never had a broken bone before. He’s not sure whether he’ll stay with the Orioles or rehab in Sarasota.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Hardy said. “I’ve been feeling as good as I can remember. I mean I don’t know the last time that I’ve felt this good. It’s definitely frustrating. I am just going to try and get back as soon as possible.”

RELATED: Chris Tillman starts as Orioles begin life without J.J. Hardy

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Chris Davis foresees Astros players' getting disciplined 'between the lines'

Chris Davis foresees Astros players' getting disciplined 'between the lines'

Earlier this week, Tim Kurkjian told NBC Sports Washington the Astros cheating scandal, "has gotten bigger than I thought it was going to be." And boy was he right. 

Players across the league have chimed in with firey comments directed at Rob Manfred for his handling of the Houston situation, but also haven't held back when it comes to Astros players. 

Nick Markakis has said the players, "deserve a beating," Howie Kendrick explained how he has no sympathy for Houston while players like Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge and Max Scherzer have all made it known how angry everyone is at the Astros.

Most of the anger stems from the fact that, along with the blatant cheating of course, Major League Baseball granted every Astros player immunity for their cooperation in the investigation, and how their 2017 World Series championship was not taken away. On Friday, Orioles slugger and player representative Chris Davis offered his thoughts on the lack of discipline and how opposing players could take matters into their own hands during the regular season. 

“I think the discipline that the players are going to get this year is going to be very interesting, and I say that meaning that a lot of that is going to be handed out between the lines,” Davis said, according to MASN's Roch Kubatko.

Davis didn't specify how exactly the discipline "in between the lines" would be doled out. Teams will surely get up for their games against the Astros all year and try to hand them as many losses as possible. But then there's the possibility of pitchers throwing at the Houston hitters. 

So far through five spring training games, Astros hitters have been plunked seven times, though it's important to note not all of them were on purpose. Five of the seven occurrences came on offspeed pitches. 

However, Las Vegas gave Houston the highest over/under total for the number of times a batter will be hit by a pitch (83.5). Last season, the league average was 66, and the Yankees were the only team to surpass the 83.5 number the Astros have this year (86). 

The Astros have affirmed us they are not concerned with getting thrown at all year, though judging on the comments by a multitude of players, they may want to at least think about it. 

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Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle's monster batting practice translated directly to the game

Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle's monster batting practice translated directly to the game

Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle had quite at the plate Thursday. 

Something had to have clicked during batting practice, when the young slugger launched a monster shot to left field that hit the light pole and scared a bunch of unsuspecting birds. 

Then during the Orioles' spring training matchup with the Pirates, Mountcastle went on to go 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run, three RBI and three runs scored. 

Through four games now this spring the 23-year-old first baseman is hitting .417, which is a promising sign for both Mountcastle and the Orioles. Baltimore needs players like him to blossom into bonafide major-league starters if they're going to turn around and contend at some point over the next five years. 

Whether the Orioles decide to start Mountcastle's season in the majors or minors has yet to be seen. However, he probably starts the season in the minor league's given Chris Davis, Trey Mancini or Renato Nunez are the club's options at first, while there are also service time incentives for Baltimore to keep him off the major league roster right away. 

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