J.J. Hardy’s absence at shortstop for the Orioles on Saturday night was a noticeable one. He’s been a fixture in the Orioles lineup all season, missing only one game when manager Buck Showalter gave him a day off.
But Hardy was scratched from the starting lineup in the Orioles’ 8-4 win over the Colorado Rockies after back spasms flared up as he got ready to take batting practice.
“I feel like I probably could have played tonight,” Hardy said. “I don’t think we wanted to risk anything to make it get worse. I think it definitely got better with the treatment today. We’ll see tomorrow. I think it’ll be pretty good.”
Hardy said he also dealt with back spasms in 2007 and 2008 when he was with the Milwaukee Brewers. Back then, he said his back “would lock up pretty good,” and then the shortstop would miss a week. This time, the spasms weren’t nearly as severe, and he thinks things will get back to normal soon.
“This is just kind of a weird thing today,” Hardy said. “I think it’ll be fine. Tomorrow, I’ll come in, maybe get a little more treatment and hopefully play.”
Hardy and Showalter discussed playing through the pain, but the team decided that the better option was to wait out and see how he feels for Sunday’s season finale.
Ryan Flaherty filled in at short and went 2-for-4.
“After listening and talking, I didn't want anything to flare up long term, so we'll see what tomorrow brings,” Showalter said. “But I thought he and the trainers managed it pretty well. I appreciate him being honest. He wanted to play. He thought he could play with it.”