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Yankees activate Brendan Ryan from DL

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Brendan Ryan will soon show off his defensive chops in the Bronx.
Brendan Ryan will soon show off his defensive chops in the Bronx. (USATSI)

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When Michael Pineda's pine-tar-induced suspension officially concluded Tuesday, the Yankees placed him on the disabled list and activated infielder Brendan Ryan, the club announced. Ryan has been on the DL since the beginning of the season due to a pinched nerve in his upper back.

Ryan, 32, isn't much of a hitter but he could provide some value to the Yankees. Throughout his career, Ryan has been an excellent defensive player. Without ever really being a full-time player, Ryan's defensive runs saved* were 25, 22, 18 and 27, respectively, from 2009-12.

*Defensive Runs Saved measures how many runs a player either saves his team (positive) or costs his team (negative) on defense. For a full explanation, click here.

Now, as I mentioned, Ryan isn't much in the batter's box. He's a career .237/.299/.329 (72 OPS+) hitter. But the Yankees aren't getting a ton from their middle infield right now.

Yankees second basemen this season have hit .255/.355/.363 while shortstops have hit .217/.300/.252. Plus, their infield as a whole is already at negative-three defensive runs saved.

Now, Derek Jeter isn't going to be benched, but he could see some turns at DH while Ryan plays short. Ryan could also spell Brian Roberts at second. It would certainly help the infield defense, which would make the pitchers happy -- especially since starters CC Sabathia (50.8 percent ground-ball rate), Masahiro Tanaka (49.5) and Hiroki Kuroda (47.5) all keep the ball on the ground close to half the time.

It'll definitely be interesting to see how manager Joe Girardi deals with the activation.

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