Mar 14, 2015; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy (2) fields a ground ball in the first inning of the spring training game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Orioles had made it through almost all of Spring Training without injuries. Now, the tides are turning.
J.P. Arencibia is not making the team. His dismal spring and recent right flexor mass (forearm) injury confirmed that. But, going into Spring Training, he wasn’t going to make the team anyways…
Previously, Matt Wieters was declared unable to be ready for Opening Day. We all were probably rushing the timetable a little on Wieters, and he will stay at extended spring training as he continues to recover from his Tommy John surgery. Caleb Joseph has proven a capable defensive replacement, but replacing Matt at the plate is a lot more difficult. At this point, it appears the team will likely be without Wieters through April.
Then there is David Lough. Lough hurt his back when he suffered a back spasm while bending down to pick up a ball. Then, in trying to come back from that, he now has a hamstring injury as well. He appears to be a likely DL candidate to start the season.
Now, the latest news is J.J. Hardy. Hardy’s MRA today came back with a strained subscapularis (shoulder). This after diving for a ball last week. He also is likely to head to the DL to start the season, as he has to shut down for at least 10 days.
Lough was already in danger of missing the team. By going on the DL, it will save the team a tough decision for at least a few days. Out of Adam Jones, Alejandro De Aza, Steve Pearce, Delmon Young, Nolan Reimold, Travis Snider and Lough, only probably six of them can make the team. Maybe only five.
Hardy’s injury has a bigger effect. It likely means Everth Cabrera makes the roster, as he has played much better of late. Ryan Flaherty is also an option, as is Jimmy Paredes. If Paredes makes the roster, it may be a sign that the team is willing to move Manny Machado to short until Hardy gets back.
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Two other options are Jayson Nix and Paul Janish. Nix is known for being a utility man and is near the top of Spring Training in runs scored. Janish has been stellar with the glove, which is a big plus when Buck Showalter is the manager.
It is going to be a fascinating week to see what happens the last few days and who the 25 highly deserving players are who start wearing Oriole black and orange.