Cleveland — The Orioles activated shortstop J.J. Hardy from the 60-day disabled list Friday, nearly three months after he fractured his wrist when hit by a pitch.
Hardy, the veteran who has been a stalwart in their infield for years but has been replaced by July 31 trade acquisition Tim Beckham, has been with the team since Sept. 1. He recently had a cortisone injection to alleviate symptoms similar to tennis elbow that cropped up from too much swinging on his rehab assignment.
"It feels good, Hardy said. "It definitely has been a long road — a little bit longer than I expected. But it does feel good to be back. … All my problems are behind me. My arm is feeling good. There's a few different issues when I was coming back — the wrist was better before my shoulder was better, then my elbow started acting up. I had a few things, but that's all healed now."
Manager Buck Showalter has longed to add another infielder, as the team has lacked flexibility with only Ryan Flaherty as the backup for all four infield spots. On Thursday, Showalter used backup catcher Caleb Joseph at third base to get Manny Machado off the field in the ninth inning.
Hardy's role upon his activation remains unclear.
"I don't have any expectations," Hardy said. "I'm just going to prepare myself and be ready for whatever he wants me to do."
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated left-hander Andrew Faulkner for assignment. They had submitted Faulkner, who had a 2.79 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 24 walks in 38 2/3 innings for Triple-A Norfolk, to pitch in the Arizona Fall League this season to make up the innings he lost earlier in the year.
The Orioles acquired him on April 6 from the Texas Rangers, and he spent over a month in Sarasota, Fla., working his way to full strength before joining the Tides.
Faulkner will join left-hander Jayson Aquino in DFA limbo, with each waiting to be exposed to waivers before the Orioles have the opportunity to outright them to the minors.