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Yankees lineup vs. Rays - Brendan Ryan on the verge of return

Brendan Ryan is close to being activated off of the DL

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees will look to build on their success from yesterday as CC Sabathia takes the mound.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Derek Jeter, and Carlos Beltran are at the top of the order. Mark Teixeira, DH Alfonso Soriano, and (surprisingly) third baseman Kelly Johnson make up the middle of the order. Brian Roberts will be sitting with Yangervis Solarte at second base, Brett Gardner in left, and John Ryan Murphy giving Brian McCann the day off from behind the plate.

After missing most of spring training, and the duration of the season so far, Brendan Ryan is finally close to making his season debut. Ryan originally went on the DL during spring training with an oblique strain, then when he had recovered from that, he started having cervical spinal nerve issues. Now he'll be back in a matter of hours:

As of Saturday, Ryan has played in six rehab games. Four of those in Tampa, and two in Double-A Trenton. Considering the fact that he did miss spring training, and is rehabbing from a back injury, Ryan has been hitting well. He's hitting .381/.500/.381, with 8 hits and 5 walks through 21 at-bats. Joe Girardi had said that he wanted Ryan to get about 50 at-bats in before the Yankees activated him off of the DL, and he's gotten around 40 now (about 20 in extended spring training games, and 21 in the rehab games), so he should be ready to go soon.

The good thing about Ryan coming off the of the DL is that his defense is much better than Derek Jeter's, and Jeter sure has been struggling. Of course, Ryan is just the backup shortstop, so we won't see him in games too often, but he should be an upgrade over Dean Anna. The bad thing is that Ryan's return could mean less playing time for Yangervis Solarte or Kelly Johnson. While Solarte has served as the backup shortstop (only because there is no one else to use), he still has options. For some reason, Girardi insists on starting Brian Roberts at second base, despite the fact that Solarte and Kelly Johnson have both been playing better, but could this mean the end of Roberts? Johnson has barely played, but his home run yesterday and presence in the lineup today could mean something in that regard. Either way, it'll be nice to see Ryan healthy and on the field again.