Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy was hoping that a day off last Tuesday would solve his lower back spasms, but he did not feel well enough to play on Saturday and he is out of Baltimore’s starting lineup again for Sunday afternoon’s series finale in Tampa Bay.
Hardy told MASN’s Roch Kubatko that he hopes to return to action Monday night when the O’s travel to Boston’s Fenway Park and simply didn’t want to risk a flareup on the unforgiving turf at Tropicana Field.
Baltimore boasts an MLB-high 8 1/2 game lead in the American League East standings, allowing for caution with minor injuries. Ryan Flaherty is filling in at shortstop Sunday versus the Rays as the Orioles try to avoid a three-game sweep.
Among several transactions made on Sunday, the Angels announced that pitcher Matt Harvey has been released. The right-hander was designated for assignment on Friday.
Harvey, 30, was hoping to bounce back with the Angels after signing a one-year, $11 million contract in December. It didn’t work out. In 12 starts spanning 59 2/3 innings, Harvey allowed 47 earned runs on 63 hits and 29 walks with 39 strikeouts. Harvey missed time between May 24 and July 12 with an upper back injury.
Since his 2015 campaign with the Mets, after recovering from Tommy John surgery, Harvey has a 5.65 ERA in exactly 400 innings. Given his age, he could still find an opportunity with another team short on pitching depth, but he is running out of leash, as they say.