The Orioles may have dodged another injury bullet, this time involving shortstop J.J. Hardy.
We'll know more this afternoon.
It's also possible they make a roster move today to get another pitcher in the bullpen after Josh Rupe and Jeremy Accardo were called on to pitch in long relief Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, and with the slugging Texas Rangers coming to town today.
"We're going to examine whether or not we're going to need a pitcher for [Friday] because Rupe and Accardo both are down for [Friday]," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Just when it seems they get one player back, another gets scratched. This time it's not all about pitching, either (although Jeremy Guthrie is still questionable for his start Sunday after dealing with pneumonia this week).
On Thursday, roughly an hour before game time, Luke Scott (right groin) gave Showalter the thumbs-up that he would be able to return to the lineup.
About 50 minutes later, Showalter learned that shortstop J.J. Hardy felt some tightness in his left side, near the ribcage. Hardy said he really felt it when he swung hard. But he still told the club's athletic trainers. And they told Showalter.
"By the time I got all this information, it was 6:50 p.m.," Showalter said. "I went out and had a conversation with [Hardy] on the field. With the cold weather, I didn't feel like it was worth the risk, so [I] made the switch to [Cesar Izturis].
Hardy feels it's a day-to-day injury and insists he could have played Thursday. He'll be re-evaluated today.
"I was going to play through it, playing catch, doing everything, getting ready for the game. I wanted to put a little bit of Icy Hot on it just to keep it warm," Hardy said. "At that point, it got back to Buck that it was tight, it was sore, and he came out and talked to me when I was playing catch getting ready for the game. He didn't like it, thought it was better to be safe than sorry. I think it was the right decision."
The Orioles have Izturis and Robert Andino to play shortstop if Hardy's injury is serious. Hardy had three hits and four runs in his first 14 at-bats this season.