According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Brendan Ryan is concerned about whether or not he will be available to the Yankees on Opening Day.
Ryan has missed the past 17 games due to lower back spasms, but a new report surfaced on Thursday saying that he is now having spasms in the upper part of his back as well. He was supposed to play 5 innings at shortstop Thursday night against the Red Sox, according to manager Joe Girardi, but he would be replaced by infielder Dean Anna, who is trying to make the team as a back-up.
Ryan, who is known for his stellar defense, signed a 2-year, $3 million deal with the Yankees this off-season.
If he does go on the disabled list because of these back spasms, the Yankees have some options to replace him on their roster. One possibility is Anna, who is hitting only .233 this spring, but hit .331 at Triple-A Tuscon of the Pacific Coast League in 2013.
Another possibility is 26-year-old Yangervis Solarte, who is hitting .455 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI this spring.
Both Anna and Solarte play solid defense at shortstop and second base, but are better at second. In 2013, Anna had an above average fielding percentage at shortstop, while Solarte was above the Major League average in RF/G and fielding percentage.