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Brendan Ryan won't be ready to return after his DL stint

Is this good news for Solarte? Bad news for Nunez?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees were all set at shortstop with a now-healthy Derek Jeter as their starter and the slick-fielding Brendan Ryan as his backup. Unfortunately, as the 2013 squad can attest to, injuries happen. Ryan has seen limited action this spring after dealing with an oblique strain and now a pinched nerve in his back/neck. The plan was to bring him back in minor league camp so they could backdate his DL stint, however, it's probably going to take longer than they originally expected.

He's eligible to come off the disabled list on April 7, but Brian Cashman has confirmed that Ryan won't be ready to return to the majors at that point. He will likely have to return for extended spring training in order to prepare himself for the regular season. It seemed like the plan was to allow Dean Anna to fill in as the backup infielder until Ryan was healthy, but the severity of the injury could cause the Yankees to reevaluate.

There are currently two spots open between Anna, Eduardo Nunez, and Yangervis Solarte to serve as backup infielders. The easy choice would be to simply bring Nunez and Anna, since they're both on the 40-man roster, but it's possible that they're considering making a move in order to get Solarte on the team. If that were to happen, it means that either Ryan is going to the 60-day disabled list and will miss the first two months of the season, or someone is going to be designated for assignment. Candidates for a roster cut include Nunez and Anna, but could also end up being someone like Preston Claiborne now that he has been optioned to Triple-A after a lousy spring training.

The backup infielders are the only remaining roster decisions left to be made. All three of them can play second, third, and short (I'm using the term "play" lightly in Nunez's case), so versatility is not going to be a deciding factor. The bullpen and rotation have been finalized, so a holdup here could signify that a move is coming.