ANAHEIM, Calif. - Finally, the Yankees have the backup shortstop they envisioned this offseason, but don't expect Brendan Ryan's return to significantly alter Derek Jeter's playing time.
"As I've told you, I'll watch Derek as we go through the whole year," Joe Girardi said before Tuesday night's game. "Just because Brendan's here, it won't change my view on how I view Derek."
Latest Yankees stories
Counting Tuesday night, the 39-year-old Jeter had played in 26 of the Yankees' 32 games. The shortstop was in a horrendous slump entering Monday night's game, hitless in his previous 13 at-bats and in a 3-for-28 skid. Jeter went 2-for-4 with a double in Monday night's 4-1 loss.
"It's just part of the game, people are going to go through tough periods," Girardi said Tuesday. "You go back to any player who's played, whether he's 25, 35 or 39, they've had tough periods. It's just a matter of getting to the other side."
Girardi, for the second straight day, was asked about possibly subbing Ryan for Jeter late in games.
"I haven't made up my mind," Girardi said. "Obviously, there's things I have to think about once players get here and I haven't made any decisions yet."
As for the 31-year-old Ryan, who missed most of spring training and the first part of the regular season with a pinched nerve in his back, he's ready for anything. Girardi said he doesn't envision Ryan playing anywhere but shortstop, the position he's played predominately in his career, but didn't rule out second or third should the need arise. And with the way things have gone with the Yankees' infield, it very well could.
"I have no idea," Ryan said of his role. "I'll just take it one day at a time, as cliche as that is. I'll be ready to play every day, whether it's one inning or to start or whatever. If you need me to tape ankles, I'll be ready to do that, too. Whatever they need me for, I'm ready for it."