Brendan Ryan has a target date for his 2010 Grapefruit League debut, and it’s even sooner than previously expected.
Ryan’s program currently has him on track to play on Saturday, March 20, when the Cardinals face the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium. The timetable is subject to change, and Ryan could always have a setback. But as of Thursday, optimism reigned for the Cardinals’ starting shortstop.
That would allow Ryan to play for more than two full weeks before the beginning of the regular season. Ryan is recuperating from a right wrist operation he had last month. It’s unclear whether a March 20 Spring Training debut would allow him to be on the Opening Day roster, but every game he plays in Florida will increase his chances of being active on April 5 in Cincinnati.
Ryan has been taking soft-toss for the past three days. He expects to advance to taking batting practice thrown by a coach on Friday, followed by live batting practice, facing a Cardinals pitcher, on Tuesday. He would take live batting practice for three days, take a day off and then play on March 20.
Ryan laid out the timetable to reporters on Thursday morning. He hopes to be able to be used as a defensive replacement or pinch-runner before March 20.