Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he isn’t counting on shortstop Brendan Ryan (wrist surgery) being ready for the season opener. In fact, La Russa said the team would be willing to play without Ryan for the entire month of April if it means having him healthy for the other five months of the season.
"You don’t know how strong his wrist is going to be," La Russa told the newspaper. "Once he gets it strong and ready, then he’s got to take enough at-bats where he’s got timing. He can’t rush in there, take four days and say, ‘Hey, I’m ready,’ then all of a sudden he hits .210 and somebody else is playing instead of him."
La Russa did not say who would fill in for Ryan, but the Cardinals have Julio Lugo and Felipe Lopez on the roster. The Post-Dispatch, however, speculates Lugo could be expendable after the Cardinals’ recent signing of Lopez.