Hardy sits with back spasms, may return Saturday

Hardy sits with back spasms, may return Saturday

DETROIT -- Shortstop J.J. Hardy was not in Friday's starting lineup, as he's dealing with "light lower back spasms" and was held out for precautionary reasons.

"[We just] had a lot of things with the flight, the sleep, the weather, we didn't want it to turn into something else," manager Buck Showalter said of Hardy, who arrived in Detroit along with the rest of the team around 3:30 a.m. ET. "I was considering it anyway."

Hardy said he had been playing with the light spasms for the past two games and expected to be back in Saturday's lineup. Showalter said he had already written out the lineup with Hardy back at shortstop.

Ryan Flaherty got the start in Hardy's place, with Jonathan Schoop moving to third base and Steve Lombardozzi at second against his former club. Showalter relied on infield coach Bobby Dickerson's input with regard to where to slot each guy in order to set up the strongest possible defense.

Steve Clevenger got his first start of the season at catcher, which was the plan all along since Showalter didn't want him to sit for too long, and Matt Wieters caught on Thursday night.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.