LADY AT THE BAT: Refsnyder Shows Potential & Problems as Yankees Earn Series Win Against Red Sox

Monday, July 13, 2015

Refsnyder Shows Potential & Problems as Yankees Earn Series Win Against Red Sox

The people asked and the New York Yankees brain trust delivered. On Saturday, the Yankees #5 prospect, 2B Rob Refsnyder, made his major league debut against the Boston Red Sox. As Stephen Drew’s generally ineffective season continues, many Yankees fans are looking to Refsnyder and wondering if he wouldn’t be a better alternative.

The 24 year old, who batted .364 in Spring Training, has also had a decent season with the bat in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up he was batting .290 with seven HRs. Unfortunately for him, that bat comes with a questionable glove, as Refsnyder has 13 errors in less than a half season of games. 

Luckily for him, he improved enough defensively over the past few weeks to merit a call-up. GM Brian Cashman has maintained that, for now, this is just a two game call-up to strengthen the line-up against the back to back lefties the Red Sox were throwing in Eduardo Rodriguez and Wade Miley. If that’s true, Refsnyder will be back in Scranton after the All-Star Break.

Refsnyder, after going 0-for-3 on Saturday but looking clean in the field, decided to make that choice just a bit harder with his performance on Sunday. After starting his afternoon 0-for-2, he put an inside out swing on an 0-1 pitch from Miley that would have made Derek Jeter proud, and earned his first MLB hit.

He wasn't done yet, as he followed that up with a 9th inning 2-run HR over Fenway Park’s green monster. It was an important hit, as the Yankees won the game 8-6, and it was an important reminder that Refsnyder, once he gets adjusted, should be an immediate offensive improvement over Stephen Drew.

However, with the good comes the bad.  Part of the reason the Yankees needed nearly all 8 runs to win the game was due to Refsnyder’s first big league error that allowed a run to score. In a closer game, he could have been the reason for a loss.

Earlier in the game, Refsnyder also made a risky play to get a force play at 2B. The play was barely made and, if it wasn’t, it would have led to a 2-on, nobody out mess for Dellin Betances. In his post-game comments to reporters, Joe Girardi chose to focus on the positives, but it’s clear the rookie’s defense didn't exactly impress anyone on Sunday.

In his post-game write-up, ESPN’s Wallace Matthews wrote, “In his two-day audition for a full-time job, Refsnyder performed too well to be sent back to Scranton, and not quite well enough to be sent out to second base every day without some crossed fingers and bated breath.”

Drew’s job might be safe for a bit, as the Yankees might choose to platoon the two for awhile. Eventually, however, the Yankees will need to make a choice. If Refsnyder can show the improvement he showed in the minor leagues and during his two days in the big leagues, he’ll make that choice very easy for them.



Unknown said...

Quoting Wallace Matthews just voids the entire article. The guy is a doom and gloom writer for the Yanks. Let Refsnyder have a month to show what hes about. He is young and has improved at 2nd over a short time. Originally an outfielder he deserves a shot, I mean Drew has had 2 yrs to show how inept his bat is. As for the close play on the flip most forces at 2nd are like that. It shows a lot of confidence on Ref's part to make that play. Watch his play in the minors and in college. The kid is heady and a gamer.

Bernadette Pasley said...

The error he was charged with was unfair. Miller should have gotten it, since he was the one who threw the ball into centerfield.

Anonymous said...

It's Miller's responsibility to ask the middle infielder who is taking the throw, depending on the runner at first, and the hitter. Miller did not appear to know, and should have double pumped. In that situation, you make sure of one. However, the throw should have been caught by Refsnyder. He palmed the catch, rather than receiving it the pocket. I have little doubt that Refsnyder simply forgot his assignment to cover the bag. It's all part of playing a rookie, and this rookie is only in his second season of playing the position. No big deal. The Yankees win, the Yankees win!

Anonymous said...

Miller made the bad throw. Let Ref play and dump Drew and his .186 bat.

Anonymous said...

The Kid plays with plenty of poise and intensity. He deserves the opportunity to win the job from Drew.