User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Horses
Golf
Auto
Soccer
More
Betting Tools

 
Orioles want to move Hardy out of No. 2

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter puts it bluntly. He wants to move J.J. Hardy out of the second spot in the lineup. The Orioles shortstop is coming off his best year defensively - and a year he'd like to forget offensively.

Advertisement
In a season where Baltimore surprised and won 93 games, Hardy won his first Gold Glove in the majors. Along with centerfielder Adam Jones and catcher Matt Wieters, Hardy gave the Orioles solid defense - and spotty offense.

``I look at it as one of the worst offensive seasons I've had,'' Hardy said.

In 2012, Hardy batted .238 with 22 home runs and 68 RBIs. It was his first year of a three-year $22.25 million contract - an extension he earned during a solid 2011 season.

That year, he hit 30 homers with 80 RBIs and a .269 average in 129 games - 29 fewer than he played last season.

During a particularly discouraging stretch, Hardy watched as his batting average fell from .261 in mid-June to .216 a month later. Baltimore was in the midst of its first winning season in 15 years, and Hardy was helping with his glove.

``When you're playing well defensively, and you're winning, it does help - for sure. Had we been losing, I think my offense would have been brought up last season - and it wasn't brought up that much,'' Hardy said.

He doesn't draw many walks, and Showalter feels he'd be more effective lower in the batting order. Perhaps it would have helped last year.

``Instead of going 0 for 5, maybe it would have been 0 for 4,'' Hardy said.

When he came to the major leagues in 2005 with Milwaukee, Hardy was known as a defensive shortstop. In 2007 and 2008, Hardy combined to hit 50 home runs and drive in 154 runs, but in 2009, he was slumping so badly, the Brewers sent him to the minors. He thought about that a lot last year he struggled.

``I would compare it to the season I had in `09 when I got sent down. Maybe my numbers were better when I got sent down than last year,'' Hardy said.

Hardy's position in the batting order may depend on Brian Roberts' health. If the second baseman can regain his form, Roberts could bat leadoff and Nick Markakis second. If Roberts can't play, the Orioles may have to bat Hardy second - unless Showalter decides second-year third baseman Manny Machado is comfortable enough batting second.

It's all dependent on Hardy's swing. It was off last season.

``If I was hitting, five, six, seven, I don't know if it would have made that much of a difference other than one less at-bat per game. Had I been swinging the bat well, it wouldn't have been an issue,'' Hardy said.

There are no complaints about his defense. Showalter is always raving about the nuances of Hardy's defensive game, and he's so good at short, there was never any consideration to moving him when Machado was brought up. Machado played shortstop in the minors, but was placed at third when he joined the Orioles last August, shoring up the team defensively.

Hardy would like to play often. Last year, he set his career high in games.

``I'd like to play more. If I can stay in the lineup, I'd like to play 162, Hardy said. ``I'd like to be a lot more consistent offensively, be able to play 162.''

Notes: Orioles OF Nick Markakis returned to Baltimore for a family funeral. He's expected back on Friday. ... Baltimore played its first pair of intrasquad games on Wednesday and will play another on Thursday before the first game on Saturday against Minnesota.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Akins: Diamond Trends - Sunday
Lawrence: July Pitchers Report
News: Win Total Update - June
Feist: Midseason Report
News: Divisional Odds Update
Bryant's 2 HRs, 6 RBIs power Cubs
Locke, Pirates dominate Indians 1-0
Garcia robs Davis of HR, ChiSox beat O's
Red Sox, Buchholz shut down Astros
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
5-1 +466 L6, +2,644 This Year
16-3 +1,277 L19, 5-0 L5 G-Plays
7-1 L8 Guarantee Streak
12-4 L16 G-Plays, 29-15 L44 Picks
6-2 +475 L8 Picks, +1,507 TY
6-1, +615 L7 Guarantees
4-2 L6 Picks, +2,339 This Year
11-6, +510 L17 Guarantees
7-4 L3 Days, 16-10 +530 L26
14-5 L19 Guaranteed Plays
6-2 L8 Over/Under Plays
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox
2015 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Nelson + 2644
Kevin Rogers + 2339
Dave Cokin + 1507
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2360
Joe Nelson + 2142
Dave Cokin + 1331
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 685
Scott Pritchard + 237
Marc Lawrence + 200
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Nelson + 1541
Chip Chirimbes + 987
Dave Cokin + 822
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1692
Mark Franco + 402
Dave Cokin + 380
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1518
Joe Nelson + 784
Dave Cokin + 685
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy Sager Bomb