Infielder Ryan likely to begin season on DL

Infielder Ryan likely to begin season on DL

TAMPA, Fla. -- Infielder Brendan Ryan (pinched nerve in upper back) is likely to begin the year on the 15-day disabled list, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

"He is feeling better, but I'd be really surprised if he started on the 25-man roster and not on the DL," Girardi said.

Ryan said that he had a cortisone injection on Saturday and has regained almost all of his range of motion, but he has not played since March 4 and has just eight at-bats this spring, making it difficult to envision breaking camp with the team.

"Just probably going off the at-bats, yeah," Ryan said. "I'm definitely not pushing for anything. Whatever is best, and it seems like if you really roll into the season having eight at-bats, I don't think that would be responsible to the team.

"We talked about pitch recognition the last time we talked; I've got to see some breaking balls and stuff like that. Not to mention, I probably only saw a handful of balls in the field. I'll get a chance to come out here and play on the back fields, see some reps at second and third also."

With Eduardo Nunez likely to be on the Opening Day roster, Girardi could choose between Dean Anna and Yangervis Solarte for an extra backup infield spot.

"All those guys in those positions have played extremely well," Girardi said. "That's a tough decision, too."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.