30 Aug

Hardy still taking it slow with left shoulder

first_imgBALTIMORE — Beginning their 24th season at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Orioles hope the weather will cooperate as they host the Toronto Blue Jays in their home opener on Friday afternoon.An overcast setting accompanied by a forecast of afternoon thunderstorms provided the topic of conversation, but the Orioles hope to continue their run of success in home openers at Camden Yards as they are 17-6 since 1992. Baltimore owns a 41-20 combined record in home openers dating back to 1954.Though currently on the 15-day disabled list after suffering a left shoulder strain in late March, shortstop J.J. Hardy continues to make progress as the club hopes to send him on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment next week. On Thursday, Hardy took swings with a fungo bat and expressed no major concerns to reporters the following morning. The plan is for Hardy to swing once again on Friday — potentially with his regular bat or even hitting off a tee.This is considered the final hurdle as his shoulder has responded well to all other baseball-related activity.“We still have to take it day by day and see how I feel,” Hardy said. “We’re not putting a time limit on it, because it puts more pressure on it. It’s definitely getting better.”Outfielder David Lough (left hamstring) is expected to play in an intrasquad game in Sarasota on Friday. Manager Buck Showalter said the plan is to send Lough to Single-A Frederick for a rehab assignment as early as Saturday, but the Orioles have left open the possibility of activating him from the DL this weekend.Below are the lineups for the home opener:TORONTOSS Jose ReyesCF Dalton PompeyRF Jose BautistaDH Edwin Encarnacion3B Josh DonaldsonC Dioner Navarro1B Justin SmoakLF Kevin Pillar2B Devon TravisSP Mark Buehrle (2014 stats: 13-10, 3.39 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)BALTIMORESS Everth CabreraLF Steve PearceCF Adam Jones1B Chris DavisDH Delmon Young3B Manny MachadoRF Travis Snider2B Jonathan SchoopC Caleb JosephSP Bud Norris (2014 stats: 15-8, 3.65 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)last_img

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