HOUSTON -- O's shortstop J.J. Hardy was not in Monday's starting lineup against the Astros as he is dealing with some left side soreness that he first felt on Sunday.
Hardy, who has been taking extra swings in hopes of finding his stride at the plate, came out to take early batting practice on Monday and felt the same sort of irritation. He immediately alerted head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and manager Buck Showalter, who are trying to get out in front of the injury. Hardy, who started the season on the disabled list, has played in just 23 games and is batting .190.
"I'm just nervous that it's more than a day-or-two-type thing," said Hardy, who had a similar issue sideline him for an extended period in 2011. "I'm just nervous that it might turn into something worse and I don't want it to, so I think resting it is probably the right thing. It's frustrating though. It's the shoulder [injury] in the spring, then the back starts acting up. Now it's this."
Any sort of side soreness can often signal an oblique injury, which is a common injury that lands players on the DL.
"I am not using that word," Showalter said in regards to Hardy's injury. "It's one of those things you never say out loud. But [the injury] has some of those characteristics."
Showalter said Hardy wanted to play Monday, but given the team's schedule -- with no off-day coming until June 8 -- he decided to be cautious.
"We would all love for him to play, but you got to take it out of their hands," Showalter said. "Hopefully it's something we can get ahead of and not have it turn into something else."
Hardy was cautiously optimistic as well that this could only keep him out for a brief stint.
"I sure hope so," he said. "Honestly I'm a little bit nervous about it because in 2011 I felt something like this, so I don't want it to get to that point. We'll see what tomorrow has, but it definitely makes me a little nervous."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.