Quick Hit: Ryan's Roster Chances Take Some Early Body Blows

The weather wiped out most of yesterday's planned spring camp activities.  For Brendan Ryan, that was probably a good thing.  It hasn't been a promising start to what is a critically important ST for him if he wants to stay in pinstripes.  He was the first official injury casualty of the spring, straining his back earlier in the week while doing biceps curls.  The Yankees have said he's only expected to be out for 5 days, but backs can be tricky and they've been known to try to sell more serious injuries as minor ones. Ryan has become a redundant piece on the roster with the signing of Stephen Drew and others, and I've been advocating for the Yanks to let Ryan go and use Drew in his role of utility infield backup for a while.  In addition to the early back problems, it appears as though that could be something that hurts Ryan's roster-making chances as well.  Brendan Kuty reported yesterday that Joe is planning to get Drew some work at shortstop this spring, and why not?  He's a pretty good defensive shortstop himself and more likely than Ryan to contribute something positive offensively.

There's also the group of Quad-A non-roster guys who can step in and reasonably approximate Ryan's value.  I've read a couple reports in which the coaching staff spoke positively of Nick Noonan's defensive skills at shortstop, and Cole Figueroa has very good MiL K and BB rates.  They each figure to be fixtures in the battles for Triple-A starting jobs and can easily be called up as emergency backup options if the injury situation got bad enough.

So it's been a bit of a rough start for Ryan.  He's hurt, he won't be able to play in games when the ST schedule kicks off next week, he's going to be behind schedule for the rest of camp, and he's got the rest of his competition around him filling his void and getting chances to show that they can do what he can do better than him.  If he's healthy, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Yanks shop him.  But even if there is a team out there that's interested in him, they aren't giving up anything of value to get him.  Ryan needed to come out and play well to justify his spot on the roster this spring.  Now it already looks like he's being forced out of the picture before he even had a chance to take the field.

P.S.- I was talking about this on Twitter yesterday.  If you followed me, you could have joined in the discussion (hint, hint).