As anticipated, the news concerning J.J. Hardy out of The Warehouse isn’t good. The veteran shortstop has a hairline fracture in his left foot after fouling off a ball on his left foot in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game at Camden Yards against the Chicago White Sox.

Now, Hardy’s going to miss the next four to six weeks. J.J. isn’t just the team’s middle infielder. After spending time in that clubhouse, I can tell you he’s a leader. Both Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop look to him. While Machado is more than capable of stepping and filling the physical void, Hardy’s presence means so much more.

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The Birds will most likely look to Ryan Flaherty, who was optioned to AAA Norfolk on April 25, but due to an injury will be eligible to return immediately. Another option for skipper Buck Showalter would be Paul Janish, who’s currently batting .318 at Norfolk, but according to’s Roch Kubatko, he’s going on paternity leave Wednesday.

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The O’s have a lot of other options, but not great ones. Pedro Alvarez is a former third baseman but committed 52 errors in two years at that position. We all know Buck more often chooses defense over offense so it looks as if Flaherty will get the nod in the infield, keeping Alvarez as the team’s designated hitter.

We will update you as news breaks concerning the injury, right here on

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