Yankees News: Brendan Ryan on the Mend

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With a few exceptions, the New York Yankees have had a relatively pain-free Spring Training thus far. One such exception is shortstop Brendan Ryan. However, there is good news out of Yankees camp on that front, according to NJ.com.

Ryan was expected to back up new starting shortstop Didi Gregorius, as well as Stephen Drew at second base. He is not much of a hitter, with a career BA of .234, but there are few defensive shortstops as talented as Ryan in the league.

Ryan strained his back during workouts on February 27th, and since then he has been held back from participating fully in practices — and has yet to play in an exhibition game. Now, it looks like he will finally get to take some on-field batting practice, and expects to play in a game later this week, provided his back continues to show improvement.

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Manager Joe Girardi expects Ryan to need about two weeks’ worth of exhibition at-bats to be ready for the regular season, which would mean his first game action could take place as late as March 22nd.

Before the Yankees acquired Gregorius from Arizona, Ryan was their projected starting shortstop (a scary thought), but his health has been somewhat elusive since coming to the Yankees from Seattle back in 2013.

He started last season on the DL with cervical spine nerve damage, and has had to manage the injury ever since.

This week will be crucial in determining how healthy he really is, and if he still needs more time, the Yankees will have to consider Jose Pirela as the team’s utility infielder.

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