Tap-In Question: Who's your primary third baseman with Hardy shelved? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Tap-In Question: Who’s your primary third baseman with Hardy shelved?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon


It’s “Yankees Week” at Connolly’s Tap Room, meaning all fake drafts for Orioles’ fans are 27 cents, to remind you of New York’s 27 championships.

Similarly, fake drafts for all Yankees fans are $19.27 to commemorate that great 1927 Yankees team.

We care about history around here, and we try to be all inclusive. So drink up Bronx Bomber Backers.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the Orioles, the team that hasn’t lost six in a row.

The big news this week is the fracture in shortstop J.J Hardy’s left foot, and what the ripple effect will mean on the Orioles and their stellar defense.

Although it took two lineups, Orioles manager Buck Showalter decided to switch Manny Machado from third base to his natural position at shortstop Tuesday night against the Yankees. And that switch likely will be semi-permanent while Hardy is out.

The big question is who plays third base while Manny is manning short?

Ryan Flaherty received the nod Tuesday, and my guess is he will get the most opportunities to play the position. The assumption is defensive whiz Paul Janish will be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk once he is back from paternity leave. Janish is a .217 career hitter in parts of seven major league seasons, but he is tremendous defensively.

Janish has played third base and shortstop at the major league level – he’s most naturally a shortstop.

So if Showalter wants to stress defense – and we know how much he stresses D – Flaherty and/or Janish is your man.

But there are other options.

Pedro Alvarez, who struggles defensively but has spent most of his career at third base, could be moved from the DH role to the hot corner on occasion. That move would weaken the infield defense, but would give a boost to the offense and potentially strengthen the outfield defense.

Right fielder Mark Trumbo could get some time at DH if Alvarez isn’t in that spot, and that would create more playing time for Nolan Reimold or Hyun Soo Kim in the outfield.

There’s also a thought that Chris Davis could be moved from first to third, allowing Trumbo to get back to first base and keep Alvarez at DH. But I really hate the idea of moving Davis off of first, where he has been so good.

I’ve heard from some readers who think Machado should stay at third – like Davis at first – while putting Flaherty or Janish at shortstop. They believe it’s smart to disrupt only one position, not two or three.

When the smoke clears, I expect Flaherty to be the primary third baseman while Hardy is out.

That’s what I think Showalter will do. Now I want to know what you would do.

Tap-In Question: Who is your primary third baseman with J.J. Hardy shelved? Why?



  1. 5brooks5

    May 4, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Flash! Leave Manny at SS to see how his knee handles it for a month or so. Use Janish against some lefties, but try not and move Manny back and forth

  2. danconno

    May 4, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I think that is probably going to be what we see. But you’re not even a little tempted to see if Alvarez can hold his own at 3B, which could provide more offense and potentially improve OF D?

    • 5brooks5

      May 4, 2016 at 9:23 am

      I’m tempted to ask Charlize Theron out for a date… but that ain’t happening either!I get the feeling that Buck values the defense too much and I’m not sure he wanted Pedro in the first place. I think that was more D.D. and a knee-jerk to losing Fowler?

      • Dan Connolly

        May 4, 2016 at 10:29 am

        Go for it. The worst that can happen is a restraining order printed in every tabloid. As for Pedro, he’s not a Buck-type player, but I think he’s good having another pro hitter in the lineup.

  3. eash3

    May 4, 2016 at 9:19 am

    It’s got to be Flaherty in my opinion

    • Dan Connolly

      May 4, 2016 at 10:30 am

      I’ll get ya a beer. But next time you are paying full Yankees price without a why.

  4. Creatively_19

    May 4, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Natty Boh Draft Dan, and at 27 cents, keep ’em coming!

    Manny played okay last night, though the play on A-rod in the 5th it looked like he was lost trying to find first to make the throw before coming through with it. Obviously there’s an adjustment period, but with any other player running and the play probably wouldn’t have been so close.

    I’m curious what Manny said to Buck last night that made him change the lineup. Manny should play wherever he feels comfortable, as long as our defense doesn’t suffer. It seems to make more sense to play him at SS and fill in at 3rd with Flaherty or Alvarez, depending on the matchups.

    Also Dan, I know you advocated for not disturbing the positions too much, but what would you think of Manny at 3rd, move Schoop to SS and Flaherty to 2nd, just for a game or two to get Schoop some time at SS, which of course is his natural position. Or maybe Jones at SS, I’m sure he’d be cool with that.

    What time does the virtual kitchen open around here?

    • Dan Connolly

      May 4, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Manny loves playing shortstop. He’s never been shy about that. I’m sure all he had to do with Buck is show his enthusiasm; I don’t think there is any doubt that Manny can handle the job, and you want to keep your best player happy, assuming it helps the team. Schoop hasn’t played shortstop much in years. I definitely keep him at second base.

  5. rebusgadfly

    May 4, 2016 at 10:20 am

    To add my two cents, four cents for inflation, Janish belongs at short and leave Platinum glove Machado at third. So many people have already said, “Don’t disrupt two poitions to save one. Janish had a really nice spring and belongs on the major league roster more so than Kim (but don’t me started on that…there a few other folks toiling away on the buses of the minor league while Kim and his ill-fated contract sits him on the major league bench)

    PS I’m with Creatively_19 when does the kitchen open?

    • Dan Connolly

      May 4, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Janish is a whiz at short, no doubt. I’m sure he’ll get looks there with Manny at third. Yes, Kim’s situation is unique, but give the guy credit, he is hitting when he plays. … And the kitchen is always open. But we are a Balmer joint. We only serve crabcakes (broiled and lump, of course). Oh, and sour beef on Sundays.

  6. Dante

    May 4, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Manny is the logical choice to play 3rd. Paul Janish will open some eyes if given the chance at shortstop.

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