Two pieces of bad injury news for the Orioles today.
Starting shortstop J.J. Hardy will be placed on the disabled list after a CT on Monday revealed a small fracture in his left foot, according to a source.
The timeline for a recovery has not yet been determined, but six weeks off is typical for such injuries.
Also, top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey, 21, will have sports hernia surgery Tuesday in Philadelphia, continuing the injury misery for the former first-round pick.
Hardy left Sunday’s game shortly after fouling a ball off his foot in the fourth inning. The diagnosis initially was a contusion, but the Orioles sent him for further tests Monday knowing that a fracture was likely.
Meanwhile, the club is expected to call-up utility infielder Ryan Flaherty for Tuesday’s game. Flaherty, who was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk last week, isn’t eligible to return until Thursday, unless he is replacing a player placed on the disabled list. And in this scenario he would be.
Another possibility would be Triple-A shortstop Paul Janish, a defensive specialist who was one of the team’s final cuts this spring. Janish, however, is set to go on paternity leave Wednesday. If Janish is recalled as well this week, a reliever likely would be demoted or taken off the roster.
That might depend upon the health of closer Zach Britton, who left Saturday’s game with a sprained ankle. A MRI showed no further concerns, and a source said Britton was improving and hoped to be back pitching this week.
Hardy, 33, was hitting .244 with two homers and eight RBIs in 22 games this season. The anchor of the club’s sublime infield defense, Hardy’s absence will be felt more in the field.
Third baseman Manny Machado likely will shift from third base to shortstop much of the time with Hardy on the DL. Flaherty could play third base as well as designated hitter Pedro Alvarez and first baseman Chris Davis, if necessary.
Harvey is expected to be lost for four to six weeks after Tuesday’s surgery, which will be performed by specialist William Meyers, who also has operated on former Orioles Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis, among others.
Harvey, the organization’s first round pick (22nd overall) in 2013, has not pitched in a regular season game since he was shut down in late July 2014 with a flexor mass strain when he was with Low-A Delmarva.
Harvey was with the Orioles this spring and pitched in three games, allowing six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings (20.25 ERA). He was shut down with the groin injury late in the spring and then returned to the mound to throw two innings in extended spring training Thursday before experiencing more discomfort.