clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Stephen Drew is blocking Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela–is this a problem?

New, 37 comments

Stephen Drew is keeping both Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder in Triple-A Scranton, but is that a problem?

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

It's easy to see how Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew is eating up a big league roster spot, especially when players like Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder are stuck in the minors. Some fans may rather get rid of Brendan Ryan over Drew, but it's hard to see them cutting either of them because of the depth they provide at shortstop behind Didi Gregorius. It seems that we're stuck with both Ryan and Drew unless some kind of miracle happens. In the meantime, is it a problem that Pirela and Refsnyder are currently stuck on the same team together?

Both players are second baseman and both need to be in the lineup every night, so a multitude of defensive switching has gone on over the last few weeks. Refsnyder generally plays second base, but Pirela has been placed in the outfield and has served as the designated hitter in the meantime. It isn't just that they're trying to fit two players at the same position, it's also that both are hitting extremely well while their major league counterparts are not.

Pirela has hit .339/.400/.496 in his 120 plate appearances at Triple-A Scranton while Refsnyder has a .292/.385/.415 slash line in 380. While he was in the majors, Pirela only hit .212/.232/.303, but even that was superior to Drew's current 185/.260/.371. Unfortunately, Drew has actually hit much better since June with a .226/.308/.472 slash line, making Pirela look bad by comparison.

At 25 years old, and after three seasons in Double-A, it's hard to see Jose Pirela as a prospect anymore. Him tearing up Triple-A doesn't mean as much when many already consider him a Quadruple-A player. It might not be such a bad thing to give him more exposure to major league pitching and see what happens. That way, Refsnyder can spend a little more time refining himself defensively. As we all know, Refsnyder is great offensively, but his defense leaves something to be desired. Refsnyder had one error in his four games with the Yankees, while he also has 13 errors in 77 games in Scranton. On the plus side, he committed 11 of those errors in his first 40 games this year and he's been much better since then. It's nice to see how much his defense has progressed over the course of the season.

It doesn't appear that their offense is the problem and both have been solid with the glove as of late, so what's keeping them in Scranton? It's pretty clear it's Stephen Drew. I hope I'm not the one breaking the news to you, but Drew doesn't deserve a starting spot with the Yankees. Unfortunately, it would seem that rumors are spreading that the Yankees could have a quiet deadline. If that's the case, Drew will still be a Yankee. In that scenario, how should the Yankees handle Pirela and Refsnyder? Is having them both in Scranton an issue? Should Pirela become a full-time outfielder? Or can you call up one (or both) and have Drew come off the bench? Let me know what you think in the comments!