KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Orioles placed shortstop J.J. Hardy on the disabled list and designated outfielder Nolan Reimold for assignment before opening a four-game series Monday night in Kansas City.
Baltimore also reinstated utility man Steve Pearce from the disabled list and recalled right-hander Jorge Rondon from Triple-A Norfolk to bolster its taxed bullpen.
Hardy has been dealing with a groin problem for several days, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that an MRI exam earlier Monday confirmed the injury. The decision to put him on the DL now gives Hardy a chance of returning for the last couple weeks of the season.
The Orioles began the day two games back of the final AL wild-card spot.
"You always miss what he brings you on the field," Showalter said of Hardy, who is expected to rejoin the Orioles on Tuesday and begin his rehab with the team.
"The MRI results were what we thought we'd find," Showalter said. "This is a chance to get it resolved and come back for the end of the season and hopefully the playoffs."
Hardy is hitting .222 with seven homers and 32 RBIs.
Reimold played mostly against left-handed starters, hitting just .227 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 39 games. But his departure could be a brief one — if he clears waivers, Showalter said the Orioles would likely bring him back when rosters expand in September.
Pearce had been on the DL with a left oblique strain, while Rondon gives the Orioles an extra reliever after their bullpen went four innings against Minnesota on Sunday.
In other news, Showalter said right-hander Mike Wright would start and pitch five innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday at Gwinnett. Wright has been out with a strained calf.
Designated hitter Steve Clevenger also plans to leave after Monday night's game to attend the birth of his child. His wife is due to be induced Tuesday.
''He needs to go," Showalter said. "Hopefully this time tomorrow, we'll have a nice little addition to the club."
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