Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy will report to Triple-A Norfolk on Monday to begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment for his right wrist injury.
Hardy, who has been on the disabled list since mid-June, is set to start at shortstop for the Tigers and hit fifth in the batting order, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Hardy "told me he's going down there planning on playing nine innings," Showalter said. "That's a good sign that he feels well. We'll see if that happens. … Whether he plays five, seven, nine innings, it will kind of be up to him."
How many games Hardy will need before he's ready to be activated is unclear. But because Hardy hasn't played in more than two months, he said he will treat the rehab as if he's getting conditioned for the season during spring training.
Hardy has taken on-field batting practice for the past several days and been fielding grounders for the past six weeks, but said the biggest obstacle will be regaining arm strength.
"I actually think the throwing will be the biggest challenge for him, talking to him," Showalter said. "That would be the only thing that would keep him waiting. Just getting his arm back in strength — shoulder, elbow, wrist. Just watching him out here, that will be the last thing to come. He's looked pretty impressive in BP. He's swinging the bat well. So I think that's what he's waiting [on] to say he's ready."
When Hardy returns, the Orioles will face a difficult decision at shortstop. Tim Beckham, acquired at the nonwaiver trade deadline from the Tampa Bay Rays, is hitting .467 in 18 games with the team and has provided a spark from the leadoff spot, but Hardy's leadership as the infield's quarterback, as well as his strong defense, is unquestioned.
Orioles place Castro on bereavement list, recall Asher
The team placed right-handed reliever Miguel Castro on the bereavement list before Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Angels after the death of a family member.
The Orioles recalled right-hander Alec Asher to replace Castro, who had worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings on consecutive days and would have been unavailable Sunday.
Before Sunday's game, Showalter indicated a move might be made.
"Someone is here that we're thinking of activating," Showalter said. "We're preparing for that, but we've got some moving parts that have changed since last night. So we're waiting to see with a lot of respect for the person and their family."
Asher had a 3.86 ERA over eight games with the Tides since he was optioned to Norfolk in early July. He excelled in a spot-start and relief role with the Orioles early on but dropped off once he replaced Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation, posting a 9.87 ERA in four starts.
With the Orioles struggling through some short starts, Castro had been a valuable multiple-inning arm. Five of his past seven outings have been for two innings or longer.
Bundy to start Wednesday on added rest
Right-hander Dylan Bundy is scheduled to make his next start Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics, which would give him 10 days of rest between starts.
Bundy's last turn through the rotation was skipped with Thursday's day off, and the addition of Chris Tillman to the rotation Sunday gave him another day.
Bundy is 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA when working with six days of rest or more this season, holding opposing hitters to a .196 batting average.
Two of his best outings of the second half have come on extended rest. On 11 days' rest, Bundy held the Texas Rangers to one run on four hits through six innings July 18, and he allowed just one unearned run on three hits over eight innings against the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 1 after eight days' rest.
Left-hander Wade Miley and right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez will start the first two games against the Athletics.
Davis back in lineup
First baseman Chris Davis returned to the starting lineup Sunday after missing the first two games of the Angels series with an illness.
Catcher Welington Castillo missed the first game of the series, also with an illness, but returned to the starting lineup Saturday.