Forgotten infielder Brendan Ryan will begin an official minor league rehab assignment with High-A Tampa on Sunday, according to Dan Barbarisi. Joe Girardi said they want him to get about 50 at-bats after missing almost all of Spring Training, so he’ll be on the rehab assignment for more than just a few days.
Ryan, 32, had a lower back problem and later an upper back problem in camp, forcing him to start the season on the DL. Given the timing of everything, it seems like he could be activated right when Michael Pineda’s ten-game suspension ends the Monday after next and they go back to a 25-man roster. Pineda returns to the active roster, the extra reliever goes down, and Ryan essentially replaces Dean Anna as the backup middle infielder. Activating him earlier would require some more roster moves.