The Orioles are closer to getting their Gold Glove starting shortstop back.
J.J. Hardy, who has been out of action since May 1 with a fractured bone in his foot, will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Tuesday at Double-A Bowie.
Hardy, who has been on the disabled list for nearly six weeks after fouling a ball off his left foot, has been rehabbing the injury at the team's spring training complex in Sarasota.
He's been gradually been working his way to doing all baseball activities, including some simulated game action.
It's not clear how many games Hardy would need before he could be activated from the DL, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter indicated on Sunday that Hardy might not need much time.
The Baysox are at home for just three days this week -- Tuesday through Thursday -- so if Hardy needs more at-bats after that, he could either stay nearby and continue at high Class-A Frederick or see a higher level of competition at Triple-A Norfolk.
Hardy was hitting .244/.291/.410 in 22 games before going on the DL, but the Orioles mostly miss the three-time Gold Glove winner's defense and leadership. Manny Machado has filled in well at shortstop, but Hardy's return would allow Machado to return to his best position defensively as Hardy returns to his role of the infield's quarterback.