Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy said after Sunday's 12-inning, 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins that he will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left groin, an injury he has been dealing with for several days.
He said he likely will get an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury, but regardless will be unable to play for 15 days. Because the Orioles are short-handed in the infield —Ryan Flaherty is the only player with significant shortstop experience — the move became a necessity, Hardy said.
"I understand the position we are in. I don't want to be having the same talk we just had. Is it going to be better tomorrow? Is it going to be better in two days? And keep dealing with that. I guess it's just the best thing for the team, and that's that," Hardy said. "It sucks."
Hardy did not start Sunday, but entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning after Flaherty was removed for pinch-hitter Matt Wieters in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Because the game went into extra innings, Hardy continued to play, singling with one out in the 11th. He moved to second on a two-out single by Gerardo Parra and then Orioles manager Buck Showalter replaced Hardy with pinch-runner Jimmy Paredes.
The Orioles didn't score in the bottom of the 11th, and then Manny Machado, who moved from third base to shortstop, and Paredes, who moved to third, made errors that led to the Twins' game-winning run in the 12th.
Showalter admitted after the game that he would not have taken out Hardy and compromised his defense if he thought Hardy's groin wasn't an issue.
Hardy has been dealing with the injury for several days, with the worst pain coming Friday. He said he felt much better Sunday morning — and actually felt fine after the game Sunday evening. But, Hardy acknowledged he felt discomfort while running and walking.
"If we weren't in the position that we are in, ideally, maybe it would have been better [Monday] if I didn't get in there [Sunday]. It felt much better today even after playing," Hardy said. "I feel it a little bit. I feel it in there, and I'm protecting it a little bit, and I think that's [why] I'm running the way I'm running. [The DL decision] is what we've got to do."
The Orioles did not announce a roster move Sunday night, but The Virginian Pilot reported Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Jorge Rondon would join the team in Kansas City. Showalter said the club likely will add a pitcher today. In addition, infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce could come off the disabled list today, meaning he could replace Hardy on the roster.
Hardy is batting just .222 with .253 on-base and .315 slugging percentages in 93 games this season and is 4-for-38 (.105 batting average) in his past 12 games.
It's possible that Flaherty will continue to start at shortstop, but in a pinch Showalter could move Machado, who played shortstop before reaching the major leagues, over and fill third with one of several players, including Flaherty, Steve Clevenger, Chris Davis, Pearce or Paredes. It's also possible a minor league shortstop, such as Paul Janish, could get the call from Triple-A Norfolk
Roe's mixing it up
Reliever Chaz Roe switched his locker location this weekend, moving from the back corner near the club's food room to the front near the main door. He said he made the request simply as a way to switch things up.
Roe, who is on the DL with right shoulder tendinitis and likely will be activated at the beginning of September, also was wearing new cleats. He said he is contemplating shaving his head, which would mean the loss of his trademark mullet.
"A fresh start," Roe said smiling. "New cleats, new locker, and coming off the DL."
Around the horn
Sunday was the first time Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman and Twins center fielder Byron Buxton had faced each other. Buxton was the second overall pick of the 2012 amateur draft, Gausman the fourth. Buxton went 0-for-3 against Gausman, part of an 0-for-6 day. … Steve Clevenger has a career-high seven-game hitting streak. He has hit safely in 10 of 12 games with the Orioles this year. … Counting this recent 10-game stretch, just three times in Orioles history has the club swept and been swept in separate four-game series in one homestand. It also occurred in 1972 and 1954. … Twins manager Paul Molitor was ejected in the ninth inning for arguing a checked-swing call. It was his third ejection of the season.