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Friday, September 12, 2014

Orioles Injury Update: J.J. Hardy returns to lineup

By on 9/12/2014 03:30:00 PM

As anticipated, Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy has returned to the lineup (batting sixth) for the first game of the double header that opens the Yankees series in Camden Yards this weekend.  The Orioles are a lock to win the AL East, while the Yankees are fighting for an AL Wild Card.

However, the Orioles are without 1B/3B Chris Davis, who was suspended 25 games for amphetamine use, a punishment that will extend to the postseason, as the Orioles have only 17 games remaining in the regular season. A 2014 All-Star, Davis hit  .196/.300/.404 (OPS+ 97) with 26 homers and 72 RBI in 127 games for 2014, as he was sidelined with a strained oblique April 26-May 11. Steve Pearce is at first base, with Kelly Johnson at third.

J.J. Hardy
Twice an All-Star and winner of two Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger Award, the veteran shortstop is hitting .281/.320/.392 (OPS+ 99) with nine homers and 52 RBI in 128 games. Hardy was out earlier in the season with a sprained left thumb (August) and a strained right hamstring (April), neither of which required a DL stint. He also reported back spasms in Spring Training and missed time in April.

Hardy, 31, is in his tenth major league season, with a career line of .262/.313/.424. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2001 (2nd round) and made his debut April 4, 2005. In November 2009, the Brewers traded him to the Minnesota Twins for Carlos Gomez. In December 2010, the Twins traded him with Brendan Harris to the Baltimore Orioles for Brett Jacobson (minors) and Jim Hoey. Hardy is under a three-year $22.25 million contract with the O's which takes him through the end of the 2014 season, at which point he will be eligible for free agency.

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