KANSAS CITY -- Shortstop J.J. Hardy, recovering from a strained left oblique, will begin a rehab assignment for Triple-A Norfolk on Friday.

"We'll see how long he needs [to be] there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They have a good, long homestand."

Hardy was hitting .200 through 15 at-bats this season before going on the disabled list.

Meanwhile, left-hander Brian Matusz (strained left intercostal muscle) continues to show steady progress.

"Matusz had a good batting practice session today and he'll throw on Saturday," Showalter said.

Right-hander Justin Duchscherer (left hip strain) has had two batting practice sessions, but Showalter said it's too early to project a rehab assignment date for him.

"So far, so good," Showalter said of Duchscherer.

Simon to pitch in Bowie Thursday

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Alfredo Simon, who is on the restricted list, will be on the mound Thursday when he begins a rehab assignment for Double-A Bowie.

"Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have reached an agreement to allow Alfredo Simon to go on a rehab assignment beginning with [Thursday's] game in Bowie," said Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.

The Baysox will be facing the Harrisburg Senators.

"[Simon] is available to go at least four to five innings," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Reynolds moved down in lineup

KANSAS CITY -- Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds, locked in a 5-for-53 slump, was moved to the No. 8 slot for Wednesday's game against the Royals.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said it wasn't a case of moving Reynolds lower in the order to take pressure off him. The Royals started right-hander Kyle Davies on Wednesday. Reynolds had batted No. 5 on Tuesday against left-hander Jeff Francis.

"He'll be somewhere else [Thursday]," Showalter said. "That's just how the batting order shaped up. We know he's capable of better. He'll be fine, he'll be hitting."

Reynolds was 16-for-95 (.168) through 28 games and 10 of his hits were for extra bases.

Bowie Baysox make roster moves

KANSAS CITY -- The Double-A Bowie Baysox made a flurry of roster moves on Wednesday.

The Baysox announced they had traded outfielder Jeff Fiorentino to Atlanta. Fiorentino hit .250 in 20 games for the Baysox with two homers and 13 runs batted in.

First baseman Joe Mahoney, who will probably be placed on the 7-day disabled list soon, has appeared in 10 games for the Baysox. As of Wednesday, he was hitting .235 with three doubles and one homer.

In other moves, first baseman Bill Rowell was placed on the 7-day disabled list; outfielder Kyle Hudson was transferred to Bowie from Class A Frederick and catcher Adam Donachie was transferred to Bowie from Class A Aberdeen.