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Paul Janish joining Orioles from Norfolk for Tuesday's game

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The Orioles bench is short an infielder with J.J. Hardy on the disabled list. They're fixing that for a few days at least by adding shortstop Paul Janish from Norfolk while Steve Clevenger is on paternity leave.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Clevenger is soon going to be a dad. Maybe he can get hot like Caleb Joseph so that his baby can also eat. As Clevenger hits the paternity list for a few days, that means there's room for another player, and the Orioles, you may have noticed, could probably use a backup infielder who can handle second or shortstop in a pinch. That player is going to be Paul Janish, who Tides beat writer David Hall reported will be joining the Orioles on Tuesday.

Janish, 32, looks to be the Orioles' hope for a J.J. Hardy replacement while Hardy is on the disabled list. He's been toiling away in Norfolk all season. Janish has a good defensive reputation but over parts of six MLB seasons from 2008-13 he could not hit his way out of a wet paper bag, batting .214/.284/.288 over 1,206 plate appearances.

That's pretty bad, obviously, but you can do worse than have an awful-hitting shortstop in the lineup provided he has defensive value and you just bat him ninth and hope for the best. The O's had not been doing this with Hardy, perhaps because he comes with the reputation of past offensive success. I don't think there will be much concern about hurting Janish's feelings. Maybe he won't even play much. Maybe he'll just serve as a Ryan Flaherty backup. That was a weird sentence to type.

The O's can purchase Janish's contract from Norfolk without needing to make any corresponding roster moves because recent DFAs have actually left the O's with three open spots on the 40-man roster. Adding Janish means there are two open spots, which gives the O's the opportunity to add a couple of non-40-man players when rosters expand in September, if they wish to do so, without having to cut loose anybody they already have. That possibility would be a lot more exciting if the O's had a better record than .500 on August 25.