Friday, July 3, 2015

It's Brian Roberts time, posing to the Yankiverse the ultimate question: Just how bad is Rob Refsnyder's fielding?

Last July, the Yankees expressed absoute, 150 percent, smell-the-glove confidence in the esteemed 2B statesman, Brian Roberts... right up to the moment when they dumped him like a plate of bad clams. One minute he was a pillar of the franchise. The next, he never happened. Joe Stalin would have been proud.

Surely, Stephen Drew these days cannot turn on the radio without hearing Bob Dylan.

Any day now,
Any way now... 
I shall be released... 

Poor Drew. He's gotta be the most screwed man in history by the MLB-Players Union rules. In 2014, Drew was classified as Type A free agent. Thus, any team that signed him lost their first-round draft pick. As a result, nobody touched him, until Boston cut him a deal, and then dealt him to the Yankees for Kelly Somebody (I've blocked out the memory.) By then, Roberts was disappeared, and Drew had forgotten how to hit.

Last year, Drew hit .176 for Boston, and then .150 for us. This year, he's batting .183. He makes Brian Roberts look like Joggin' Robbie Cano. I hate to say this about a guy who seems to be liked and respected in the Yankee clubhouse. But the end is near. Whether he deserves it or not, fans will hold parades when he's gone.

Which makes the debate about Triple A 2B Rob Refsnyder so angry... and strange.

At Scranton, Ref is hitting .280 with 5 HRs. Last month, he was hitting over .300, fell into a slump, and now he's somewhat hot again. The question is his fielding: How unbelievably bad is it?

Refsnyer has 13 errors on the season. Last year, he made 12. But most of the errors this year came early - the first two weeks - when the Yankees were said to be "tinkering" with his footwork. (He's a converted OF.) To hear fans on website peanut galleries - mostly among people who have never seen him play - Refsnyder is a human version of the Holland Tunnel. Or not.

An example from today's River Ave Blue echo chamber:

So how much longer do we have to wait for a real major league audition for Refs? HIs OBP is over ,370 now and climbing. Drew is at .250. I remember reading somewhere back in the 1980s that not making outs was a good thing. Oh and defense? Check out Drew's metrics. ESPN has him at the very bottom in range factor. BR has with a dWAR at -0.1. FG Def has him near the bottom at -.05. So lets finally discard the notion that Drew is a superior defensive 2b. He most certainly is not. And now that Refs has overcome the Yanks pre-season tinkering with his fielding mechanics, he appears to be doing just fine with the glove.

To which another replies...

You've lost it. A minus 0.1 on metrics? He's so bad!!! Maybe Refs isn't getting any serious thought because he's not very good. Just like pirela his defense is crap. Crap is worse than minus 0.1.

I've seen Refsnyder play twice this season. Both times, nothing happened. He made routine plays. So what does it mean? Damned if I know. The Yankees tracked through Didi Gregorius' early season miseries, and he's become serviceable. They let Carlos Beltran stand in RF all year and pretend he's an outfielder. Soon, they must make a decision on Drew.

If they trade for another Drew/Roberts, we might as well file Refsnyder in the lost category of Austin Romine. That is, somebody in the Yankee system doesn't like him, and that's that. Whatever he hits, it won't be enough. I get that baseball guys know more than fans. But it sure would be nice to think that the baseball guys were running a productive farm system... not a graveyard for 27 year olds.

At some point, the Yankees have to show faith in young players. Or, seriously, is Ref that horrible?

1 comment:

Leinstery said...

13 errors isn't that bad considering Headley has about 67 this year.