Persistent back spasms keep Hardy out

Persistent back spasms keep Hardy out

NEW YORK -- Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy was not in Monday's starting lineup against the Yankees, riding the bench for the third time in four games as he continues to deal with nagging back spasms.

"Very, very frustrating," Hardy said of the injury, which forced him out of the lineup on Friday and again on Sunday, though his latest spasms are in a different spot in his lower back. "It was probably the healthiest Spring Training I've had yet, with everything feeling good, and then this came out of nowhere."

Hardy took about 20 grounders at Comerica Park before Sunday's game but had to leave before he got a chance to swing the bat, as his lower back locked up. Without him -- and with third baseman Manny Machado on the disabled list -- Ryan Flaherty has moved to shortstop and Jonathan Schoop to third.

"We just want it resolved now," manager Buck Showalter said of the injury affecting Hardy, who has not been scheduled for any tests. "A lot of guys have stuff that they play with that we don't make note of, but this one just hampers him. ... I guess he counts ground balls; it was his 21st ground ball when it just kind of locked up on him. He's better today than he was yesterday, so we will see what the game brings, see what he feels like by game time, if he's available."

Hardy reported feeling slightly better on Monday morning after his first round of treatment and reiterated what he said in Detroit, that it's just a waiting game.

"I told everyone the other day that once the muscles relax, then it happens really quick and you get better," Hardy said. "But you've got to get those muscles to relax first."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for 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.