Ryan Rehab Express Update

At some point Ryan is expected to join the Cardinals as a backup to Adam Kennedy, Troy Glaus, and Cezar Izturis, but it's not a given that he'll be with the club as soon as he's ready.

Infielder Brendan Ryan has combined to go 10-for-31 (.323) with a home run and three RBI in seven rehab games so far. Ryan appeared in three games with Single-A Palm Beach from 4/13-16 and was 3-for-12 (.250). In four games at Double-A Springfield, where he is currently playing, Ryan is 7-for-19 (.368) with three doubles, a home run and three RBI.

Ryan, who was place on the Disabled List on March the 30th with a strained rib cage, is playing well during his rehab assignment that said, manager Tony La Russa is offering no guarantees that Ryan will automatically be placed on the major league roster when he's ready.

"He's got to play," La Russa told reporters recently in St. Louis. "It's how he responds to all the different things that playing entails. He needs to get in really good shape, is what he needs to do. He missed a lot of time, and the time was in Spring Training, so he wasn't really ready. So he just needs to take whatever he needs so that he's playing as good as he can play."

The 26-year-old infielder had a solid rookie season with the Cardinals last year hitting .289 with 30 runs scored, in 67 games, 180 at-bats. He emerged as St. Louis' top utility infielder, playing at least 17 games at second, third, and short. He will likely continue to play a similiar role this season, when he returns to major league club.

Selected in the seventh round (215th overall) of the June, 2003 First-Year Player Draft. Ryan signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals in the offseason.

Ryan appeared in his first game of a 20-day rehab option on Sunday April 13th for the Palm Beach Cardinals. The Cardinals have a 20 day window from that day to either activate him at the major league level or option him to back to the minors.

That 20-day deadline is rapidly approaching, the question is, will Ryan be back in St. Louis, or will Cardinal Manager Tony La Russa and the Cardinals derail the Ryan express?

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