Yankees shortstop Brendan Ryan takes batting practice on the morning...

Yankees shortstop Brendan Ryan takes batting practice on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

It took nearly five weeks for the Yankees to suffer their first significant injury of the spring.

Backup shortstop Brendan Ryan was lost Wednesday to a strained right calf, an injury that impacts far more than that position.

Besides starting shortstop Didi Gregorius, expected back in the lineup Thursday after missing four days with a left wrist sprain, the Yankees do have another shortstop on the roster in Stephen Drew, the starting second baseman.

"Didi and Drew are healthy so we're probably going to have to look at more of a second baseman than a shortstop," Joe Girardi said of the direction the Yankees will go in to fill Ryan's roster spot.

Ryan underwent an MRI Wednesday, which revealed a Grade 2 strain after the Yankees' 3-0 loss to the Rays at Steinbrenner Field.

The Yankees acted several hours later, trading for infielder Gregorio Petit from the Astros for cash considerations. Petit played in 37 games for the Astros last season, hitting .278 with two homers and nine RBIs. The Yankees said Petit would report to major-league camp.

There are other options, one of which could be Nick Noonan, who replaced the injured Ryan on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Noonan is a non-roster invitee who played second, third and short over 62 games for the Giants in 2013, hitting .219 with a .261 on-base percentage. The lefthanded hitting Noonan has hit .212 in 22 games this spring.

Another option with previous big-league experience is non-roster invitee Cole Figueroa, a 27-year-old who appeared in 23 games -- at second base and DH -- with the Rays last season, hitting .233. Figueroa has hit .280 in 22 games this spring.

Prospect Jose Pirela would have had an inside track on the job but has been out since he suffered a concussion March 22 against the Mets in Port St. Lucie.

"He's still not where he needs to be," Girardi said of the 25-year-old Pirela. "I think that would be a long shot."

Many fans would probably prefer prospect Rob Refsnyder, but he would be an unlikely choice. The 24-year-old, while hitting an impressive .333 this spring, has been a liability in the field, committing a team-high six errors.

"It's encouraging to see how far I've come since 2013," said Refsnyder, a rightfielder before being switched to second in 2013. "They've said some very nice things. I definitely think I have a future at second base."

But opposing team scouts have not been kind in their evaluations of Refnsyder in the field.

"I like the bat but he has no position," one NL talent evaluator said. "None."

An AL scout was slightly more positive.

"He may have a position somewhere," he said, "but it's not second base."

The injury to Ryan occurred in the sixth inning when he ranged to his left and attempted to barehand a chopper hit by Kevin Kiermaier. The ball glanced off Ryan's hand and the shortstop quickly doubled over in pain.

"It didn't look good," said Drew, who was near Ryan when he got hurt. "I heard him right when he was about to make the play. Just a weird play overall."

Refsynder said the plan was for Drew to start at short for one of Thursday's split-squad games -- the Yankees have a game in Lakeland against the Tigers and a home contest against the Pirates -- with him starting a game at second.

The larger concern, of course, is what happens when the real games start Monday.

"Things can happen quick," Girardi said. "A lot of clubs hold their breath this time of year that you leave camp the way you are. Sometimes it doesn't happen and you have to deal with it."

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