With Alex Rodriguez returning on Tuesday night, the New York Yankees will have to decide who will make the roster spot vacant for the designated hitter.
With A-Rod taking up a spot on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, Refsnyder got a well-deserved call to the major league squad out of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Refsnyder has a .293/.336/.398 slash line with two home runs in 34 games with the Railriders and had a 16-game hitting streak that ended on May 13. Nonetheless, he was maintaining a .400 batting average in the month of May in the minors.
He proved his worth on Saturday in the Yankees’ 5-1 win over the Oakland Athletics thanks to a 10-pitch at bat followed by a crucial RBI double off the right-center field wall at the Coliseum.
In 2015 during his brief 16-game stint in the Bronx, he hit .302 with two homers leaving us with the question: why would the New York Yankees send this guy down if he packs such a tough out?
Dustin Ackley, who will likely stick around when Rodriguez is reinstated from the DL, is slashing a disappointing .152/.273/.125 in 22 games played as the platoon man.
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Unfortunately for Refsnyder, not being able to play first base will be the ultimate factor in his demotion despite his offensive capabilities being far more superior from what we have seen from Ackley thus far.
The fact that a man who can hit .300, play three positions (second, third, right), and keep give a fragile team from breaking down is not on the roster, blows my mind. I don’t care if his defense is borderline mediocre. His offense speaks for itself and as a platoon man that wouldn’t see that much time anyway, the offense should be the main priority.
Now, he could still return to Yankee Stadium if another injury develops but in such a tight-knit division with no apparent favorite, the Yankees could use every win they could get. The numbers don’t lie: Refsnyder is a much better option than Ackley is.
What wins championships these days? Surely it’s a top-notch starting rotation featuring a lights-out bullpen and a solid offensive output. For the Yankees, the month of May has pulled all three segments out.
This month, their starting pitchers own the second-most wins in the American League. The bullpen owns the lowest ERA and the offense has scored the fifth most runs in the AL in the last two weeks.
Part of a championship formula that this team is missing is a youthful yet dignified threat off the bench, and Ackley is the furthest thing from that.
It’s about time the New York Yankees wake up and apprehend the reality that they have one of the most engaging prospects in all of major league baseball that could posture as a Ben Zobrist-like athlete.
Rob Refsnyder could turn into much, much more if his organization would make his stay in the Bronx last longer than a cup of coffee.