Brendan Ryan will definitely start the season on the disabled list according to a tweet by the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Barbarisi.
While not surprising, this is troubling news for the Yankees because Ryan’s sole purpose on this roster as far as I can see is to backup Derek Jeter at shortstop.
Ryan has been suffering from back issues for the last few weeks. His DL-stint can be backdated to March 5, allowing him to be back with the big club not long after the season begins assuming he’s healthy.
This leaves open another infielder spot on the bench. The candidates for the bench spots are Eduardo Nunez, Dean Anna and Yangervis Solarte. It seems like two of them will make the club when camp breaks. I would assume Nunez is a lock to make the team because manager Joe Girardi loves "his guys" and it’s anyone’s call between Anna and Solarte.
My assumption is that whoever backs up Jeter will certainly see some time early on in the regular season in an effort to keep the captain fresh. Nunez is probably the favorite, but he is hitting a weak .233 this spring and demonstrated little ability to play shortstop last season when called upon to fill in for Jeter.
Anna has been consistently good this spring and Solarte started off hitting everything in sight, but has cooled recently. The Yankees have had each of them at different spots around the infield this spring so both carry the "versatility" label. Anna might have a slight edge in that he is part of the 40-man roster and Solarte is not.
If it was my call, I’d go with Anna and Solarte and leave Nunez off the 25-man roster. Nunez has run his course on this team as far as I’m concerned. Time for some new blood.
Photo courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr.
Christopher Carelli is a freelance sports writer/editor and the Director of Content Strategy for Sportsideo.