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Right groin injury forces Flaherty to disabled list

Infielder Navarro recalled from Triple-A; Hardy, Wieters continuing respective rehabs

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles' infield continues to be hit hard by injuries, as the club placed Ryan Flaherty (right groin strain) on the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday's game. Infielder Rey Navarro was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk in Flaherty's place and is expected to see the bulk of his playing time at second base.

"It's disappointing any time you go on the DL. I try to take a lot of pride in being available," Flaherty said. "It's just frustrating. A couple of those guys are down, and I take a lot of pride in trying to fill in. And all of a sudden, you're with them, hurt."

Flaherty's injury is the third to the O's infield, which is also without J.J. Hardy and Jonathan Schoop. Everth Cabrera, a late spring signing, has been starting at shortstop in Hardy's place, and the team has been down an infielder since Schoop injured his right knee last week. Baltimore is also without catcher Matt Wieters (Tommy John surgery) and reliever Wesley Wright (strained upper back muscle).

Hardy took batting practice with Norfolk again on Friday, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the shortstop would have to be pain-free for a couple of days before playing in rehab games. Wieters has caught back-to-back games, including Friday's extended spring game.

Flaherty suffered his injury while sliding into second base on the final play of Wednesday's game in Toronto, and this will be his second career stint on the DL. The 28-year-old is hitting .300/.400/.600 with two home runs and four RBIs in nine games this season.

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"Ryan will probably rehab in [Double-A] Bowie," Showalter said. "I'm hoping J.J. -- I'm not going to push it, but right now [his rehab] would be on the road.

"If he doesn't feel good the next couple days, if for some reason he's not progressing as we hoped, he'll probably come back here."

Navarro, 25, played two games for Norfolk this season, with a home run and two RBIs, and Showalter has praised his defense.

In 885 games over nine Minor League seasons, Navarro has a .265/.313/.377 slash line with 47 home runs, 363 RBIs and 74 stolen bases. Navarro, who's wearing No. 43, made his Major League debut in Friday's opener vs. the Red Sox at second base.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli.
Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Ryan Flaherty, Rey Navarro