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J.J. Hardy's shoulder feeling 'much better'

J.J. Hardy
(Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun)

Shortstop J.J. Hardy left the Orioles clubhouse Monday morning to have a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) on his left shoulder. He walked out in a particularly good mood – the shoulder he jammed while diving for a ball Friday is improving significantly.

"I feel much better today than I did yesterday and much better yesterday than I did the day before," Hardy said.

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He said the MRA, which is like a MRI with dye injected, is precautionary. The medical staff wants to make sure he doesn't have any tears in his labrum or in the muscles or tendons surrounding the shoulder.

"It was kind of questionable [if] we need to do it, because I feel so much better," he said. "But I think they just want to know everything that's going on now, instead of maybe having to deal with it again two weeks from now. So I feel pretty positive about the improvement over the past few days."

Hardy often has dealt with injuries in past springs, but he felt particularly healthy this year before colliding with second baseman Jonathan Schoop while sliding/diving for a grounder up the middle Friday. He said if Opening Day were today, he's not sure he'd be able to play, but he would probably try.

He has a week before the games count for real, however, and doesn't envision this as a situation that would require a trip to the disabled list.

"At this point, the way I feel, the way that it improved over the last few days, yeah, I feel pretty good about it," he said. "It would be tough [to play today], but I'd definitely try. Maybe I'd have to do a shot or something, but I feel pretty good about it."

In other news, catcher J.P. Arencibia had a cortisone shot in his right forearm/elbow Monday and will be out for a couple days. He has been dealing with a mass flexor strain. He was battling for the reserve catcher spot.

Here's the Orioles' lineup for Monday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays:

Alejandro De Aza CF
Nolan Reimold LF
Jimmy Paredes 3B
Delmon Young RF
Travis Snider DH
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Ryan Flaherty 1B
Ryan Lavarnway C
Everth Cabrera SS
Zach Davies RHP

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