5:08pm: Janish will be promoted to take the open roster spot, per a club announcement.
2:27pm: Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy has been diagnosed with a fracture in his right wrist and won’t be able to resume baseball activities for four to six weeks, the Orioles announced to reporters (Twitter link via the Baltimore Sun’s Jon Meoli). Hardy won’t undergo surgery but will be in a soft cast for some time. He’ll need additional time to ramp back up after that initial four- to six-week healing period. Speculatively speaking, a late-July return seems like a best-case scenario, though his absence certainly could linger into August as well.
[Related: Updated Baltimore Orioles depth chart]
Hardy was struck on the wrist by a 93mph fastball from Lance Lynn over the weekend, and manager Buck Showalter told reporters yesterday that the prognosis was “not good” following initial x-rays. The O’s have Ruben Tejada on the roster as a backup, and he could conceivably step into the everyday shortstop role for the next several weeks. Veteran Paul Janish and the younger Luis Sardinas are both options to step into a utility slot if Tejada does take on a larger role with the O’s, though neither is on the 40-man roster.
Hardy joins fellow infielder Chris Davis on the sidelines for the foreseeable future, which should leave Baltimore with an infield of Trey Mancini, Jonathan Schoop, Tejada and Manny Machado for the time being.
From a bigger-picture perspective, the injury makes it an absolute lock that Hardy will not trigger his $14MM vesting option for the 2018 campaign. The 34-year-old was roughly on pace to reach the requisite 600 plate appearances he’d have needed to accumulate in order to lock in that salary, but the option will now be a $14MM club option with a $2MM buyout.