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Ryan's rehab assignment moves to Triple-A

SEATTLE -- Brendan Ryan has advanced to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on his Minor League rehabilitation assignment, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the organization plans to add the infielder to the big league roster when he is ready.

Ryan, 33, has been sidelined since Spring Training with a right calf strain and subsequent setbacks, and started a Minor League rehabilitation assignment on Sunday with Class A Advanced Tampa, going 1-for-3 with a double.

Girardi said that Ryan needs to log plate appearances, considering he missed most of Spring Training, but believes that Ryan can play a role as a backup for the big league squad. He is currently on the 60-day disabled list.

"I think it's important that he plays back-to-back days, or maybe three days in a row," Girardi said. "The big thing is that he feels good and comfortable and like he's ready to contribute. He's had some at-bats, but they've been really spread out because it's been on, off, on, off. We need him to get some consistent at-bats."

Ryan sustained a Grade 2 strain of his calf while fielding a ball in an April 1 exhibition game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. He batted .167 (19-for-114) with no homers and eight RBIs in 49 games for New York last season.

With Ryan absent, the Yankees have been using Stephen Drew at second base and Didi Gregorius at shortstop, with Drew backing up Gregorius on occasion. Jose Pirela also is on the roster and has been used mostly as a reserve.

"I'm not so sure exactly what the move will be, but our thought is when he's ready, we'll bring him back," Girardi said of Ryan.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
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