DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy continues to be bothered by right shoulder discomfort, and he received a cortisone shot Tuesday, according to manager Buck Showalter, to try to expedite the recovery.

"He's a little sore from [the injection] today, but he's getting there," Showalter said of Hardy, who last played Monday night. "I'm hoping he's a Friday player."

Team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens examined Hardy's shoulder Tuesday, and Wilckens and head athletic trainer Richie Bancells believe that the cortisone injection should resolve the issue completely.

"Just go ahead and not take any chances [with it]," Showalter said. "Go ahead and get it resolved. [I] hope that's the case. I'm hoping that he's a player on Friday."

Hardy was slowed by the same issue last spring and has said that he deals with shoulder soreness in camp every year. It only affects him throwing at game-speed and isn't an issue swinging the bat.

Simon, Eveland remain long shots for rotation

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Orioles' starting rotation picture got a little clearer following Wednesday's 9-3 loss at the Blue Jays, with Dana Eveland and Alfredo Simon both struggling in their respective outings. Both pitchers are long shots to be in the Opening Day rotation.

Simon, appearing in his first game since exiting his March 18 start early with a left groin injury, was tagged with six earned runs on six hits and a walk over two innings. Manager Buck Showalter admitted afterward that it would be "a push" for Simon to be ready, physically, for the rotation.

Eveland allowed three runs on six hits over four innings, marking the first time since March 16 that he has gone multiple innings. Asked where he felt he fit in on the team, Eveland -- who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Dodgers -- said he wasn't sure if the rotation was a possibility.

"Honestly, I can't see that I would be in the rotation, because I haven't been extended enough," he said. "It was my third start of spring, but it was my first time really getting extended. I wouldn't be ready to go seven innings next week, so I don't know if that is a possibility.

"If I could slide into the long relief job or be the lefty guy in the 'pen, that would be great, but we have a lot of great competition in camp," added Eveland, who has thrown 13 spring innings. "There are four left-handers who could possibly fill in that bullpen job. Who knows what's going to happen? We'll see."

Showalter wasn't so quick to dismiss Eveland from the starting competition, citing the team's number of games left and ample opportunity to build up more innings.

"Everybody's a candidate right now," Showalter said. "We've got time for really two more starts if you look at the fifth starter, but if he sees it that way. ... I'm not sure. He had 60-some pitches today. If he was a little more efficient with his pitches, he could have pitched five innings today."

Simon said after Wednesday's outing that he felt physically OK, and the right-hander purposely threw a lot of fastballs to make sure he could handle it. Like Eveland, Simon is out of options -- meaning he would have to clear waivers to be sent to the Minor Leagues -- and his best shot at making the Opening Day roster seems to be in a long relief role.

Asked if he thought Simon, who has pitched just nine innings this spring, was rusty, Showalter was frank.

"I hope so," Showalter said. "He pitched like a guy who had nine days off. He'll be better next time out."