Ryan laces double in spring debut for Yanks

Ryan laces double in spring debut for Yanks

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Brendan Ryan finally made his first appearance of the spring on Friday, playing five innings at shortstop and contributing a run-scoring double in the Yankees' 11-2 Grapefruit League victory over the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Ryan has been sidelined all spring by a mid-back sprain that he said was sustained while performing biceps curls in an offseason workout. Ryan got off to a quick start, belting a Alfredo Simon fastball over the head of left fielder Rajai Davis to drive in the Yanks' first run.

Ryan said that it felt "awesome" to be back on the field, finishing the afternoon 1-for-3. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that there seemed to be no lingering issues with Ryan, who is expected to serve as the backup shortstop to Didi Gregorius opening the season.

"He almost got killed in BP, but besides that everything was good," Girardi said. "Two bullets smoked at him when he was playing catch. That's Brendan. Just leave it at that."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.