Why did the Yankees option Rob Refsnyder? 20


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On Saturday, Joe Girardi implied Rob Refsnyder would be the everyday second basemen and Stephen Drew would be the utility man off the bench. On Sunday, Brian Cashman and the Yankees surprised everyone when they announced Rob Refsnyder was the corresponding move for Carlos Beltran coming off the DL, sending the young second basemen back to Triple-A where he was pretty much in a league of his own offensively. So why did the Yankees option Refsnyder when a four game sample size is too small to determine if he was Major League ready or not?

The answer was simple–at least to manager Joe Girardi; He has faith Stephen Drew can provide offensive production despite Drew hitting .181/.255/.306 this season.

“He [Drew] had a pretty good month in June when you look at his OPS numbers,” Girardi said. “July, he hasn’t played a lot, the numbers are OK. Since that time that we gave him three or four days off in Oakland, he’s kind of turned it around a little bit. We just felt that, we’re in first place, and Stephen Drew has played a part in that, and we play a lot of games at this ballpark, and this ballpark is favorable to him, and we were going to stay with him for now.”

The Yankees seemed to like Refsnyder’s offense, but they were a bit iffy with his defense, which also factored into the reason he was sent down. But the Yankees admitted they liked what they saw, and they want Refsnyder to continue perfecting his craft at the minor league level.

“Just continue to improve,” Girardi said. “Understanding the position, continue to make little adjustments. I thought he did a really good job considering the situation we put him in. In Fenway Park, that’s not the easiest place to start. But we believe he’s going to be here for a long time, and for right now, we’re going to stay with the guys we got.”


20 thoughts on “Why did the Yankees option Rob Refsnyder?

  • hotdog

    I thought it was also possible that Cashman wants to keep Refsnyder's trade value at a respectable level…if he continued to struggle with offense, it may have slightly lowered his value…4 games is not a great sample size, neither is 12 but it may shy GM's away, again slightly…this is all speculative of course but Cashman is looking at more scenarios than we do as fans…

    • Rob Abruzzese

      I thought this too. Even if he had a full month of at bats and failed, it's still a small sample size, but if it even scares one GM away then it is a dangerous game. This way his four game cup of coffee is only likely to help him.

  • Jack

    I recently read an article about the Yanks trading for players like David Justice, Cecil fielder giving up can't miss prospects Guess what all the can't miss prospects missed and the players acquired helped the Yanks win the pennant and World Series. Prospects are just that prospects and know one can predict , how they will pan out . Give me a proven ballplayer every time!!!

    • tom

      If Yankees plan to hell with luxury threshold bs then I can't see why not. Aaron Judge as RF and Severino as RSP? Yankees will have Jason Heyward and Justin Upton for RF as well as David Price, Jordan ZImmerman, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and maybe Zack Greinke to look at for 2016 free agent upgrades. Sure.

      Since Yankees keep trying to be careful with luxury threshold bs, Yankees behaves differently now.

    • Rob Abruzzese

      Just to point out — Ledee was the best prospect involved in the Justice deal and by the time he was traded the Yankees had a good idea of what he would turn out to be. Matt Drews was a damn good prospect at one point, but he was struggling big time by the time the Yankees dealt him, with Ruben Sierra, for Cecil.

      So to give up on top prospects like Judge, Severino, Mateo today wouldn't be the same as what happened back then. A similar deal to the Fielder trade might be Gary Sanchez + Carlos Beltran for somebody like Nick Markakis.

      • Jack

        You still don't get it , prospects are just that prospects and no one can predict what they will be!!! In the 50's the then N. Y. Giants had a prospect whose last name was Leonnard!! This prospect hit 66 home runs in one minor league season , that's right 66home runs, look it up, the Giants brought him up because everyone thought he was a can't miss superstar. He didn't hit 200 in the show and was sent back down never to be brought up again. So I say again give me proven big league ball players for prospects every time!!!!

        • Otto

          Right remember Kevin Mass in September when he hit 10 home runs. He really panned out. What about Drew Henson.

          • Rob Abruzzese

            ESPN recently did a good article about terrible trades and literally all of them involved prospects or young players. Point is — some prospects turn out to be great ball players and trading them can be very foolish. You really should consider them on a case by case basis and don't just assume that because Kevin Maas sucked that trading Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps was a good deal.
            http://espn.go.com/newyork/mlb/story/_/page/trade

          • hotdog

            I remember Jay Buhner…he looked terrible as a Yankee…i think most of us were surprised that he had an impressive career with Seattle…hard to tell how these things will turn out…Aaron Judge could be a flop and a guy like Tyler Austin whose has fallen on hard times could be traded and become a star with the Braves…Robinson Cano was far from a standout in the minors but made a huge jump forward when he hit the bigs…that's what makes baseball unpredictable…

  • tom

    Girardi needs to check out Drew's leverage statistics, for God's sake. Sure, a rookie may struggle in higher leverage situation but using OPS to determine him as being acceptable is flat out ridiculous.

  • Robert Rufa

    Uh-oh. If Girardi says they believe Ref’s going to be here for a long time, look for him to be traded soon.

  • Bernard Kane

    The loyalty to Drew is commendable, but this is major league baseball, and Drew is in a two-year "slump". OK, Ref's defense needs work, but there is no way Drew saves as many games in the field as he costs at bat. Drew is the everyday equivalent of AJ Burnet; it's time to dump him.

    • hotdog

      he better not be because he's a mainstay…Ben Zobrist will cost the Yankees more money, maybe $2.5-3 mil and a prospect or two…right now the A's are in a good position to ask for a bigger haul then he deserves and I believe Cashman will pass…Drew has been batting considerably better over the last 6-7 weeks but that's based on an average that hovered around .155…if he can maintain .225 with occasional pop, he'll be worth it…Zobrist would be the better choice imo…Refsnyder may not turn into a major leaguer…good bat in the minors but like others have said, there's a big difference between AAA and the bigs…small sample size but I did not believe Ref would come into the majors and start tearing it up offensively…

      • Martin

        Martin Prado….he is the short term answer while Ref hones his skill in Triple A. Take on Prado's whole salary and throw in a two lower level prospects and I think the Marlins would jump. Prado is a similar player to Zobrist. But would come at a cheaper cost. Under control for a year and half. Then the Yankees can DFA Drew or Ryan or both!

  • Balt Yank

    The Yankees prefer Ryan because he's versatile at 3B, 2B, SS. I call this the "Capuano" theory: CAP is the "long man" in the bullpen but if he pitches more than one inning, Yankees lose. Ryan provides back-up across the infield but hits worse than NL pitchers. That's "coverage." Yanks should have platooned Drew/Ref 50/50, at minimum, or DFA'd Jones as Ref can play right field also.

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