Before Brendan Ryan would talk to the assembled media this afternoon, he wanted to track down Joe Girardi first. Said it just seemed like the right thing to do. Seemed odd to talk to the press before he’d at least said hello to his manager. When that conversation was over, Ryan still seemed to have no real idea when he would play, how often he would play or where he would play.
“I have no idea,” Ryan said. “I’ll just take it one day at a time, as cliched as that is. I’ll be ready to play every day, whether it’s one inning or to start or whatever. It’s something I’ll make clear: if they need me to tape ankles today, I’ll do that too. Whatever they need me for, I’m ready for it. I played in the National League for La Russa and same kind of deal there. You never know. Be ready for anything. It kind of makes it fun too.”
It’s probably telling that Ryan played strictly shortstop during his entire rehab experience. He’s played some second and third in the past, but right now he seems to be first and foremost the backup to Derek Jeter.
“He’s a pure shortstop and that’s what he does,” Girardi said. “So the days we give Derek off, we’ll put him there and we don’t have to move Solo over there.”
By the way, Solo is the latest Yangervis Solarte nickname.
As for Ryan, he’s here for his glove. It’s what’s kept him in the big leagues even as his offensive has dwindled. Girardi, though, said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll use Ryan as a late-inning defensive replacement.
“Obviously there are things that I have to think about once players get here,” Girardi said. “I haven’t made any decisions.”
• Kind of surprising news of the day: right-handed reliever Jose Ramirez was activated from the disabled list in Triple-A, and to make room on the roster, Ronnier Mustelier was released. Just based on various conversations over the past two years, it seemed the Yankees were losing some steam on their hopes for Mustelier. I’m not sure they were ever sold on him — certainly not as excited as the fan base became after that standout spring training — but his power seemed to be slipping. He didn’t hit much in Triple-A last year, slugged just .362 this spring and had a .373 slugging percentage in Triple-A this year. Granted, he had a .314 average, but it seems Adonis Garcia has easily surpassed him in the wild-card prospect pecking order.
• Speaking of Triple-A, Chase Whitley pitched 6.2 shutout innings with no walks and 11 strikeouts today. His ERA is down to 2.49 through six games (five starts) and he could be the next in line if the Yankees need another long man.
• Back in the big leagues, Robinson Cano responded to the criticisms in Mariano Rivera’s book. Speaking to Marly Rivera of ESPN Deportes, Cano said, “If that’s how Mariano feels, I respect that. I’m always going to have respect for him.”
• With Ryan activated and Michael Pineda on the disabled list, the Yankees are back at 25 active players for the first time since that Boston series. “That’s a little bit nicer,” Girardi said. “Especially going into a National League city where at times you’ll have to pinch-hit and make some double switches. It makes it a little easier.”
• Girardi, by the way, has literally lost his voice (or at least his voice is very scratchy and muted) after last night’s shouting match with Laz Diaz. He said he has not yet heard from the league. “I talked to my general manager today and that was basically it,” Girardi said. “You move on. It’s a new day ad it’s part of the game. I’ve heard people complain that there’s no arguments now that there’s replay; well, there was one last night. If they missed it, I’m not doing it again tonight. I have no voice.”
• Who else did Girardi hear from about last night’s argument? “My daughter called me today,” he said. “It was almost like you could see the little grin on her face. The conversation took place and it was a lot of small talk, then it was, ‘Dad, you got thrown out last night?’ Just get to the point.”
• Hiroki Kuroda gets the start for the Yankees. They badly need him to be better. “I thought his slider was better last time,” Girardi said. “I continue to say that’s an important pitch for him. Hopefully it continues to improve. When he gets that back to where it was, or really close to where it was, I think you’ll see him have more success.”
Associated Press photos