Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It's now or never on Rob Refsnyder... (and it might be never)

Baseball, like strip poker, is a game of covering your middle.

The Yankees have baseball's worst hitting 2B, but Stephen Drew's glove deftly hides the team jewels, and the data-mining, front office MBAs keep expecting his weenie bat to improve.

The team has a 24-year-old line-drive machine playing 2B at Scranton, but Rob Refsnyder is still learning which foot goes where on the DP, and the Moneyball gurus don't want to expose the team's weakness.

Thus, the golden question: When do you lay down your cards?

Or, in trucker terms: At one point does the increment outweigh the excrement?

It is one of life's trick questions. Did Bill Buckner's bat justify the one that rolled through his Holland Tunnel? Was Carlos Beltran - hitting .300 in the month of June - outweigh his waddling attempts to patrol RF? What the hell did Britney see in Kevin Federline? Cheese - it's dairy and it's mold - WTF?

But the Yankees, historically, have an answer.

They happily play expensive, old, defensively-challenged vets.

Cheap young rookies, they are a different story.

Refsyder, a converted OF, is in his third year of playing 2B. He is hitting .294 at Scranton - he homered last night - and over his last 10 games, he is batting .375. He won't hit .375 in NYC, but he'd certainly beat Drew's .175 - if he ever gets a shot.

In three weeks, the trade deadline hits. Lately, it's been whispered that the Yankees will trade Refsnyder - through God's knows for what: There is no more festering open sore than at 2B. What would it mean, trading your best 2B prospect? Of course, for five years, the Yankees touted Jesus Montero as their future catcher - then traded him, deftly - when he came of age. Is Refsnyder the second coming of Jesus? Has it all been an illusion?

Soon, we will know. This weekend, we play three games at Fenway. We can spiritually kick Boston in the balls, toppling them from the 2015 race... or we can play "Theme from Rocky," while they run up our stairs and dance around. It looks as though we will go to Boston with Stephen Drew at 2B, the man who hasn't hit now for an entire Earth rotation around the sun.

Well, here's one strip poker prediction: If we lose in Boston, Drew will become the next garment that we shed. He'll be on the floor before the team bus hits Connecticut. And Refsnyder will either get his chance - or we will never see him in a Yankee uniform. Never.

By this time next week, both might be afterthoughts.

And as for what Britney saw in K-Fed? Only pro strip poker players know. The rest of us don't want to find out.


John M said...

Maybe we can trade CC to the Brewers. They're only 19.5 games out. He could pitch 750 innings for them down the stretch and get them into the wild card. Who knows? They might go for it.

Alphonso said...

My guess is we never see Refsnyder in pinstripes. They won't play a guy at second who isn't a top quartile defender. And I never hear people say how well Refsnyder is "coming along." How he is "starting to feel comfortable" at second base.

Is he still making abundant and frequent errors?

He will likely be traded, therefore, along with someone else whose ceiling is higher. We will get another 34-36 year old second baseman, who hits .235 and is almost as good defensively as Drew. Probably from another world; like Colorado, Houston or Miami.

In other words; a trade with short term vision and long-term pain and disappointment for the Yankees. And us. A typical Cashman play.

Typical Cashman.

Leinstery said...

There is no reason this guy should be in the minors while that piece of crap Pirela gets playing time. How does he even have a batting average of .200 when all I see him do is flail helplessly at pitches out of the strike zone? And the double error he had probably makes Refsnyder look like Omar Vizquel.

Anonymous said...

This is a comment from 'Go Win' in RAB last night about Refsnyder
Today I saw the AAA game. Following are my notes:

- Refsnyder had a good game. On offense he hit a HR (his 6th of the year) on a pulled fly ball on the first pitch he saw in the game. He also had a walk and a K. For the season he now has a .282 batting average with almost as many walks (42) as strike-outs (44). Coming into today he was on a 10 game on base streak with a ridiculous .511 on base percentage with 10 BBs to 4 Ks. Refsnyder continues to be very disciplined (38% swing rate, 7% below league average) while making excellent contact (87%, 8 points above league average). The only negative so far has been a 57% ground ball rate, which I think should improve. On defense he turned an excellent double play pivoting on 2nd with the runner sliding and throwing on the money to Bird for the second out. He also caught a hard liner and made a couple of additional routine plays. He has now made only one error in his last 25 games. I think it is fair to say that he is looking comfortable at second.