Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan is experiencing discomfort in his surgically-repaired left arm. ((Keith Srakocic/Associated Press))

The Toronto Blue Jays confirmed Thursday that closer B.J. Ryan won't pitch in games for a few days because of soreness in his surgically-repaired left arm.

Ryan, who had elbow ligament replacement surgery last May 10, told reporters that the problem isn't the elbow itself, but the muscles surrounding it.  

"Hopefully, it is just a little tightness in there and we can get it calmed down," he said.

Ryan, 32, will still pitch, just not in spring-training games. 

"He is throwing every day and we are monitoring him," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "We need to have B.J. for the whole year, not half a year, so we are treating it with kid gloves."

Ryan was shelved last April 14, and didn't pitch to live hitters until Feb. 28.

He is 2-5 with 41 saves in 47 opportunities since signing a five-year, $55-million US contract with Toronto on Nov. 28, 2005.

Ryan is 18-23 lifetime with a 3.28 earned-run average, 83 saves, and 554 strikeouts in 458 innings in 475 relief appearances.

The nine-year veteran has pitched for the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles and Blue Jays.

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 2

Reporters were told about Ryan's arm problems, as they watched the Blue Jays lose 7-2 to the New York Yankees in a Grapefruit League matinee at Knology Park in Dunedin, Fla. 

New York starter Ian Kennedy limited Toronto to one run on six hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out four batters.

"Today's the sharpest he has been," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "That is a good sign for us."

Wilson Betemit topped the Yankees with three hits, three runs batted in and two runs scored.

Shelley Duncan had a two-run double, while Robinson Cano and Cody Ransom had the other RBIs.

Aaron Hill doubled twice and drove in a run for the Blue Jays.

David Eckstein had a run-scoring double. 

Toronto starter Kane Davis pitched three innings, surrendering four runs on five hits and three walks with a strikeout.

With files from the Canadian Press