Monday March 30th, 2015

Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is expected to start the season on the disabled list due to a left shoulder injury, manager Buck Showalter told reporters Monday

Hardy, 32, was injured during a spring training game on Friday when he dove for a ground ball. An MRI arthrogram performed Monday showed a muscle strain and Hardy will be shut down for at least 10 days. 

“It’s nothing serious, but it may put the opening of the season in jeopardy if it continues down the path that they told me about today,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, according to the Baltimore Sun. “What they expected to find, they found. Just a matter of how long by looking at the MRA. It would be prudent to wait to clear it all the way up.”

• Sports Illustrated's 2015 MLB season preview rankings​

The Orioles have two options to replace Hardy: utilityman Ryan Flaherty and former San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera.

By placing Hardy on the disabled list before the start of the season, he could be activated as early as April 11. 

“I feel much better today than I did yesterday, and I felt much better yesterday than I did the day before,” Hardy said, according to MLB.com.

Hardy has missed only 28 games over the past three seasons. He hit at least 22 home runs in his first three seasons with the Orioles but only had nine last season. He batted .268 with a .682 OPS in 2014.

Hardy signed a three-year contract extension worth roughly $40 million in October. The deal also includes an option for 2018.

- Dan Gartland

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