Brendan Ryan was forced to begin the season on the disabled list with a pinched nerve in his back, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star-Ledger this evening that the plan calls for him to be activated tomorrow. The 32-year-old is expected to take the roster spot of right-hander Michael Pineda, who will be placed on the disabled list with a teres major muscle strain now that his 10-game suspension is over.
Progress for Ryan was slow, but he began a minor league rehab assignment last weekend and hit .320 (8-for-25) with two RBI and a 4/5 K/BB ratio over seven games between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Of course, anything the Yankees get out of him offensively will be considered a bonus, as the .237 hitter is a glove-first player in every sense of the term.
Ryan’s return could present an interesting scenario for the Yankees, as Derek Jeter has struggled both offensively and defensively in the early going. It’s a lot to ask Jeter to be a regular shortstop at this stage of his career, so Ryan figures to play more than the average backup at the very least.
Bobby Jenks was a key part of the 2005 world champion White Sox. By 2010, his effectiveness as a closer fell off and he signed with the Boston Red Sox for the 2011 season. He’d pitch in only 19 games that year, suffer a back injury and would never pitch again.
In the year or so after that, we heard that Jenks was arrested for driving under the influence. And then we heard that his back surgery was botched, and his baseball career was over. Then, after years of silence, we learned last spring that Jenks won $5.1 million in a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who performed his surgery.
We did not, however, know all the details until Bobby Jenks wrote about them at the Players’ Tribune this morning. This is must-click link stuff, folks.
Jenks talks about how a seemingly innocuous pitch to Jorge Posada in an early-season Red Sox-Yankees game in 2011 was the last pitch he’d ever throw. He talks about the presumably simple surgery that would supposedly get him back on the field. And then the scary complications in which he almost died due to leaking spinal fluid resulting from the botched surgery. Then, after using painkillers to deal with back pain, Jenks’ fell into drug addiction, all of which culminated in him finding himself half-naked and crazed in a car that didn’t belong to him with police and rescue workers surrounding him.
Jenks got clean but his wife left him. And then he mounted a multi-year lawsuit during which he learned that the reason his back surgery was screwed up was because the surgeon was performing two surgeries at one time, which is an apparently common practice called “concurrent surgery,” that sounds like it totally should NOT be a common practice.
Yet Jenks has survived. He’s been sober for over seven years and he seems to be in a good place. But boy did he have to go through something harrowing to get there. Definitely take the time to read it.