Orioles recall Ryan Flaherty from Norfolk, start him at third in J.J. Hardy's absence

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
The Orioles have recalled Ryan Flaherty to replace J.J. Hardy on the 25-man roster.

The Orioles made their expected infield roster move Tuesday afternoon, placing shortstop J.J. Hardy on the disabled list with a fractured left foot and recalling infielder Ryan Flaherty from Triple-A Norfolk.

Flaherty will start at third Tuesday, with Manny Machado at shortstop. The two were reversed in the initial lineup Tuesday, with Flaherty at short and Machado at third before a new lineup was posted.

Manager Buck Showalter said he changed the lineup after a conversation in his office with Machado, where the manager said Machado didn't ask specifically to play shortstop but left with that being the end result.

"Manny made a case for [how] he wants the Orioles to win," Showalter said. "That’s all we talked about. He said all this is about [that]. If you want me to play third, I’ll play third. If you want me to play short, I’ll play short. I’m in."

Hardy, the team’s All-Star shortstop, fractured his foot when he fouled a ball off himself Sunday in a loss to the Chicago White Sox. A CT scan Monday confirmed the fracture that the team almost immediately feared after the injury occurred.

In his place on the roster will be Flaherty, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk last week when the team needed to add right-hander Kevin Gausman off the disabled list.

Flaherty had two hits in 10 at-bats (.200) over four games in the majors before his assignment, then had eight hits in 19 at-bats (.421) over five games at Norfolk before he was recalled.

When Hardy missed a game with a calf strain earlier this year, Showalter said Machado at shortstop and Flaherty at third base was the preferred alignment because the defense shook out that way. He said Tuesday that he didn't want to split hairs about how Flaherty played at each position.

Showalter also alluded to the possible addition of Paul Janish when talking about their shorstop depth. Janish is at Norfolk, but might go on paternity leave Wednesday.

"I just feel fortunate that we have people like Manny and Ryan and Paul, and I wouldn’t forget that Jonathan [Schoop] has played a lot on that other side of the diamond, too," Showalter said. "I just like the versatility we have. Instead of trying to critique with this, that and whatever, there’s a lot of clubs that really have a tough time with things like losing their shortstop. I feel like there’s multiple people that can do it, and not have as big of a drop-off as some teams would. I hope. We’ll see."

For now, however, it's Machado at shortstop as the Orioles begin at least a month without Hardy.

"Good players like the challenge of doing what the team needs," Showalter said.



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