Rob Refsnyder has been left behind.
While three promising rookies currently share the spotlight in New York, Refsnyder’s stint with the major league club has oscillated, without any consistent role in the field.
But perhaps the 25-year-old has fully embraced the situation with a fitting solution.
“For me to be a part of the Yankees, I feel like I’ve got to be a utility player,” Refsnyder told NJ Advance Media’s Brendan Kuty on Tuesday night. “Every role is pretty filled. Maybe something will happen in the offseason but for me to make the team I’ve got to be a utility guy. So as long as I’m a Yankee, I’ve got to play a lot of different positions.”
Refsnyder has bounced from spot to spot. In 45 games with the Yankees this season, he has played five different positions, predominantly serving as a platoon first baseman after Mark Teixeira was sidelined with a knee injury in June. Despite learning the corner bag on the fly, Refsnyder’s steady swing made up for his sufficient defense, as he hit a commendable .262 with eight doubles and 11 RBI before his demotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on August 11.
Since his return to the minors, Refsnyder has hit .462 with three doubles and five RBI in the last 11 games, proving that his bat is major-league ready. But Refsnyder’s glove has been a hindrance to his progress, and Triple-A manager Al Pedrique believes that these issues will be fixed, as long as Refsnyder sees regular playing time.
“For me, he needs daily at-bats,” Pedrique told Kuty. “I’ve seen this guy play before. I’ve had him for three years now and he’s a true hitter. We’re trying to figure things out defensively. The best position for him. We know he’s going to hit at the major league level. That’s what he’s shown.”
Refsnyder is expected to rejoin the Yankees once major league rosters expand from 25 players to 40 on Sept. 1.