Hardy says he's ready to go; some minor league news
J.J. Hardy reported to the Orioles' minor league spring training complex in Sarasota, Fla., this afternoon for what he hopes will be the last time.
The shortstop, who hasn’t played since April 9 because of a strained left oblique, took batting practice on the field for the first time today and got through his workout feeling good. Hardy will fly to Baltimore tomorrow, pick up his equipment at Camden Yards and join either Single-A Frederick or Triple-A Norfolk for the start of a rehab stint Friday.
“It took a little bit longer than I thought, but I feel good,” said Hardy, who went on the disabled list after feeling a stabbing pain in his side while taking a swing in Game 2 of the April 9 doubleheader against the Texas Rangers. “I feel confident that it’s all healed up. I took two weeks of really doing nothing except ice and treatment. Once I started doing baseball stuff and exercises, I never really felt that pain again. It was tight, it was sore, but that’s really the last pain that I felt.”
Hardy treated today like a normal pre-game workout. He took ground balls, ran the bases, got some throws in and then took batting practice at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota.
“The first day I swung, which was just dry swings, they were 50-60 percent, pretty hesitant,” Hardy said. “The next day, probably the same thing. But I kind of gradually built it up to the last three days, I’ve been swinging as hard as I can, and I didn’t feel anything at all. I don’t think there’s any reason to be hesitant. I feel I’m healthy enough to be good to go. “
Hardy has been following the team by watching games on his computer or checking box scores on his phone. He has gotten regular texts from hitting coach Jim Presley and also spoke to manager Buck Showalter a couple of times on the phone.
The Orioles, who have been going primarily with Robert Andino at shortstop, haven’t decided how long his rehab stint will last, but if Hardy has no setbacks, it’s expected that he’ll be available at some point during next week’s home series against the Seattle Mariners, which runs May 10-12.
“It’s all going to be a feel thing,” Hardy said. “I know the first game, I’m guessing that I’ll probably play six innings, get three or four ABs, and then I’d like to start playing a full game over the next two games. If I feel like I made the adjustments I need to make, that could be enough. But it’s up to them.”
It's been a busy couple of days on the minor league side, and my friends at masnsports.com -- Roch Kubatko and Steve Melewski -- have been all over it today with the news.
Just to recap -- and these developments were confirmed by director of player development John Stockstill -- the Orioles traded minor league outfielder Jeff Fiorentino to the Atlanta Braves and infielder Paco Figueroa to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash or future considerations. ... They promoted outfielder Kyle Hudson from Single-A Frederick to Bowie and demoted catcher Adam Donachie from Triple-A Norfolk to Bowie. ... They will place Bowie infielder Billy Rowell (ankle tendinitis) on the seven-day disabled list and could do the same tomorrow with Baysox first baseman Joe Mahoney. The Orioles' Minor League Player of the Year last season, Mahoney is still feeling some discomfort in his quadriceps. He'll undergo an MRI later today. ... Frederick outfielder Trent Mummey crashed into the wall today while trying to make a catch. He was taken by stretcher to a local hospital, but Stockstill said that the early reports are good and Mummey is alert and responsive. ... Pitching prospect Jesse Beal, who pitched last year for Single-A Delmarva, had labrum surgery yesterday.