Yankees Seem More or Less Done with Rob Refsnyder


For whatever reason, the New York Yankees have been going out of their way for three years now to avoid playing Rob Refsnyder.

The New York Yankees reluctance to give Rob Refsnyder every day at-bats continues to be one of the team’s stranger story lines the past several years. The calls for Refsnyder began all the way back in 2014 when the husk of Brian Roberts was manning the keystone, while the team’s fifth round pick from 2012 was hitting .300/.389/.456 in 333 plate appearances for Triple-A Scranton.

Refsnyder continued to sit in the minor leagues as fans were forced to endure Stephen Drew‘s barely replacement level performance the next season. The team promoted the youngster for four games in July, but was demoted amid rumors that Refsnyder was too cocky in the clubhouse or had rubbed some in the organization the wrong way with his over-confidence.

It was a weird moment, but potentially hinted that there may have been off the field reasons for the team’s reluctance to hand Refsnyder a job.

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Only when Drew suffered a concussion in September did Refsnyder finally get a extended look, and he responded by hitting .302/.348/.512 in 46 PA during his first taste of the big leagues.

That all-around success seemingly wasn’t enough to hold onto the job, as the team went out for the second consecutive winter and acquired an under-performing veteran second baseman to block Refsnyder.

Ref was seemingly the favorite for the utility infielder job this spring until he made two notable errors while trying to learn third base in the Grapefruit League. He probably would have spent a third straight full season at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre if the team had not lost their top four first base options to injury simultaneously.

Refsnyder played 25 games at first this year basically because the Yankees had no one else to do it. Giving him a shot was a desperation, last resort type move. Soon after Mark Teixeira returned, Refsnyder found himself back in the minors.

It also took multiple injuries to earn the 25-year-old his other stretch of starts this year. Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge both needed to hit the disabled list before Refsnyder saw regular action. Since Hicks was activated off the DL last week, Refsnyder has not received a single start at any position, collecting exactly one plate appearance during that span.

What makes his lack of playing time even crazier is that second baseman Starlin Castro was injured shortly before Hicks returned, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi has opted to use minor league journeyman Donovan Solano as his starter instead of playing Refsnyder at what is presumably his primary position.

The Yankees are basically eliminated from the postseason and are without their starting second baseman. If they aren’t going to start Rob Refsnyder now, it’s never going to happen. Yes, he hasn’t hit for much power this season, but in his defense, he was asked to learn two new positions (first and third) on the fly and hasn’t really ever gotten consistent playing time.

So what’s next for Ref? He has almost no trade value and New York has no incentive to just give him away, even if they’ve pretty much decided they don’t want to play him.

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He’s said his focus this winter will be on making adjustments to his swing that will generate greater loft, hopefully allowing him to hit for more power. He cited Twins power-hitting second baseman Brian Dozier as a potential model for what he wants to do. Hopefully that works out. Otherwise, he’ll probably be stuck riding the bus in the minors again next year.