BALTIMORE -- J.J. Hardy will begin his rehab assignment Aug. 21 for Triple-A Norfolk. Hardy, who has been on the disabled list since June 19 with a broken right wrist, will play shortstop, and he told manager Buck Showalter he’d like to play all nine innings.
“That’s a good sign that he feels well. We’ll see if that happens,” Showalter said.
Hardy will discuss his progress each day with Norfolk manager Ron Johnson and Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson.
“He’ll be talking with R.J. and let him know how he feels each day, whether he plays five, seven, nine innings,” Showalter said. “It’ll kind of be up to him.”
Showalter thinks the hardest challenge for Hardy will be his throwing since the shortstop hasn’t played in more than two months.
“Talking to him, that would be the only thing that would keep him behind, just getting his arm back in shape, his shoulder, elbow, wrist,” Showalter said. “Watching him out there, I think that’s going to be the last thing to come. He’s been pretty impressive in [batting practice]. He’s swung the bat well. I think that’s what he’s waiting to be able to say: ‘I’m ready.’”
Showalter isn’t sure if Hardy will be taking time off during this rehab.
“He and Bobby are going to talk every day. They know when it’s right, and when it’s not,” Showalter said. “He’s going down with the idea he’s playing nine innings every game. I think that’s his mindset with him knowing full well that may not happen. He’s going to approach every game like that. J.J., you can tell he’s ready to get back. He’s been working real hard once he got back on the field and began taking ground balls.”
While Hardy has been out, things have changed at shortstop. Tim Beckham, who was acquired from Tampa Bay July 31, has been a revelation.
Beckham entered Aug. 20 with a .467 average in 18 games as an Oriole. He’s been hitless just once, and has 12 multi-hit games.
There’s been speculation about Hardy’s role when he returns, and Showalter emphasized it’s his call.
“J.J. knows. He knows it’s right and when it’s not,” Showalter said. “Sure, we’d love to have him back tomorrow. It makes us better.”
DAVIS RETURNS: Chris Davis returned to the Orioles lineup after missing two games due to illness. Davis also missed two games July 24 and 25 because of illness.
Davis, who wasn’t at the ballpark for games during his illness, signaled that he was feeling better Aug. 19 and could have returned to pinch hit if he was needed.
“I talked to him some while he was here, trying to keep him away from everybody,” Showalter said. “I talked to him last night a little bit after the game and this morning. He’s ready to go.”
CASTRO TO BEREAVEMENT LIST: Right-handed pitcher Miguel Castro has been placed on the bereavement list and right-hander Alec Asher will replace him on the active roster.
Castro is 2-1 with a 2.98 ERA in 28 games. Asher was 2-5 with a 5.53 ERA in 21 games with the Orioles earlier this season.
HURTING UMPIRE: Tom Hallion, who was the home plate umpire on Aug. 19, was injured when a foul ball hit his mask. Hallion left the game, and will not be working Aug. 20. Eric Cooper will replace him on the umpiring crew.