Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ryan's Back Injury Complicates The Infield Situation

The Yankees have their first official injury problem of 2014 after yesterday's MRI on Brendan Ryan revealed a pinched nerve in his upper back.  This comes after he had already been out of action for over a week with a sore lower back/oblique, and the early reports make it sound like he's not going to be ready for Opening Day.  He's taking pills to help the pain and could get a cortisone injection next week, but there's no timetable for his return to baseball activities let alone games.

For such a small part of the infield puzzle, Ryan and his back issues could cause major problems in the infield if they don't heal properly and dog him throughout the season.  None of the other utility infielder types are in the same realm as him when it comes to defense, especially not Eduardo Nunez, and that's the biggest thing the Yankees need at short with Derek Jeter starting.  Dean Anna hasn't looked great defensively, Scott Sizemore hasn't been able to play much and couldn't handle shortstop if he was, and ST superstar Yangervis Solarte is a completely unknown commodity as a Major Leaguer.

The most important thing right now is that Ryan takes the time he needs to get healthy, and with any luck he won't miss too much game time once the regular season starts.  The longer he stays out though, the more pressure it puts on that next tier of guys, the more pressure it puts on Jeter, and the more pressure it puts on Joe to manage Jeter's workload.

Spring Training News And Notes: 3/21/14

- It's 6 wins in a row for the Yanks, as they blanked the Pirates 4-0 last night behind a stellar outing from CC Sabathia.  The big fella went 7 innings, gave up 4 hits and 1 walk, and struck out 7.  Fastball was still living upper 80s but Sabathia reportedly hit 90-91 a few times.  Looks like he's starting to find his form.

- Jacoby Ellsbury continued to do baseball activities without any pain in his calf yesterday morning.  Joe has not said if he'll play this weekend or not.

- The diagnosis is in on Brendan Ryan's upper back issue and it's a pinched nerve.  MRI revealed it and it looks very likely that Ryan will start the season on the DL.  More good news if you're an Eduardo Nunez fan, bad if you're a fan of good defense.

- To keep him on track for his regular season opener, Ivan Nova will pitch in a MiL game on Monday.

- Shane Green and Greg Bird were announced as the winners of the Kevin Lawn 2013 MiL Hitter and Pitcher of the Year awards.  Congrats to them.