Baltimore Orioles

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy scratched Sunday because of back spasms

DETROIT -- Shortstop J.J. Hardy missed his second game in three days with lower back spasms and may not play again Monday in New York.

"He'd have a better chance if we were playing a normal night game," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Sunday. "I don't know. We'll see how he feels [Monday]. But it's a pretty short turnaround."


Hardy, who was initially in Sunday's lineup, was scratched after taking ground balls before batting practice. He also was held out of Friday's game after dealing with light spasms Wednesday and Thursday.

"Same kind of spasms as what I was trying to avoid by taking the other day off. I felt great. I didn't think this would happen," Hardy said. "I took probably 20 ground balls before one ground ball just tightened up on me."


Earlier this week, the spasms came and went quickly. On Sunday, Hardy said they bothered him longer and "locked up," which has him somewhat concerned because he continually stretches and does exercises to combat them. He said he first dealt with them in 2009.

"The spasms kind of led up to this [on Sunday]. It was more a locked-up spasm versus the little spasms I was feeling in the first few games I played through," Hardy said. "But this is more."

Hardy, 31, missed just three games in 2013 — two because of back spasms — and now could miss three in the first week of this season. But he said he's pretty sure they'll go away.
"It's just a matter of getting those muscles to relax," he said.

No tests are planned on Hardy's back for now, but Showalter said that could change if he doesn't improve by Monday.

When Hardy was removed from the lineup, Jonathan Schoop was inserted at third base and batted ninth. Ryan Flaherty shifted from third base to shortstop, and second baseman Steve Lombardozzi moved up from ninth to seventh.