Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It's time to launch the Rob Refsnyder countdown

Here's one way to spin last night's hideous, towering fiasco: The Yankees bundled 10 reasons to lose... into just one game. It was like buying in quantity.

Joe left Evaldi in too long. (Who wasn't stunned to see him start the eighth?) Our hitters scored quickly and then shut down. (The 2014 season in a nutshell.) Dellin threw wild pitches, which McCann didn't stop. We went knock-kneed with men on base. We ran ourselves out of an inning. We used the wrong fork on the salad. We didn't wear a condom. Even our mustaches looked penciled-in. You name it, we flubbed it.

And then there was Stephen Drew. (Those aren't 'Drew's you're hearing...) Actually, Drew had a regular outing: 0-4, two strikeouts and two runners left in scoring position. This drops his batting average to .184, which - amazingly - is only seven points below last year. At 32, he is seven years past his prime - 2008, when he hit 21 HR and batted .291 for Arizona. (George W. Bush was still president.) The Yankees gambled on him last spring, thinking 2014 was an aberration. Through seven weeks, it's the new Drew reality. And as Brian Roberts, the former "Mister Oriole," learned last summer - cruelly jettisoned within a few at-bats of a big bonus payout - there is no such thing as security for an overpaid experiment.

Yesterday, the Yankees announced that Drew is now taking grounders at 3B - the new backup for Chase Headley. That's a good idea, because a) Headley's back is flaring and b) A-Rod is proving too valuable a DH to risk playing third. Drew's final incarnation may be as a utility man. Frankly, he should start taking balls at 1B, too.

For better or worse, the Rob Refsnyder Era is nearing. It might be lumpy, but at least it will bring hope.

Refsnyder turned 24 at the end of March, when he looked horrible. In spring training, he booted balls and made it easy for the Yankees to ship him to Scranton. IF Jose Pirela was dazzling the brain trust - Reggie Jackson ridiculously called him the Yankees' best hitter - until the poor guy went bug-on-windshield against the CF wall. The Yankees had no choice but to go with Drew at 2B, which they probably intended to do all along.

Refsnyder went to Triple A and launched a clown show. In his first 10 games, he not only made 7 errors but failed to hit. On April 25, Ref was batting .193 (yup, Stephen Drew numbers, but at Triple A.) Ever since, he's been on fire. He's now up to .286, and he's gone 16 games without an error. No homers, three SB, and he is an on-base machine - something the Yankees, thanks to Ellsbury/Gardner, have learned to appreciate.  

A few more losses like last night, and something's gotta give. Drew and Pirela could serve as the team's all-purpose replacements - Drew for defense, Pirela for hitting. (Shades of Jayson Nix.) But Refsnyder is the future, and if Stephen Drew has any bonus clause in his Yankee contract, based on at-bats, he might be wise to waive it.


JM said...

Even Tex is off the interstate now. Drew is just a mess.

Bring on the young IFs! What the heck, they might hit .200 at least.

Anonymous said...

Ya As much as I love this yrs team and think they can be really good this yr....DREW HAS TO GO!!!!! I dont mind leaving Eovaldi out there for as long as he was he needs to learn how to make it thru those situations. P