The Yankees finally called up their top second base prospect in Rob Refsnyder for the final two games before the All-Star break, but the team remained noncommittal on whether he would remain when the team resumes play later this week. According to a team source, however reliable you find that to be, the Yankees have decided to keep Refsnyder around when the Yankees get back in action on Friday against the Mariners.
Refsnyder remaining on the team likely means that he will receive a bulk of the playing time at second base, seeing as it would be foolish to keep a young player with a hopeful future around to ride the bench in favor of Stephen Drew. This is obviously good news because Drew has failed to impress in his time in pinstripes, save for the occasional home run, and shouldn't be blocking a player who is ready to take on the next level.
What keeping Refsnyder means for the rest of the roster is remains yet to be seen. Brendan Ryan and Carlos Beltran will be set to come off the disabled list likely by this weekend. Gregorio Petit will likely be the move for one or the other, but keeping both would require a separate roster move. Ryan has been injured multiple times this season and could exercise his player option for 2016 later this year. It might be time for the Yankees to move on from the all-glove, no-hit backup infielder in favor of sliding the preferred Drew into that role. Drew can backup shortstop, second base, and third base if needed. He has been kept around this long because of his fielding and certainly not his hitting, which would make Ryan's skill set fairly redundant. The team could decide to part ways with Drew instead, but they clearly have an affection for him and he does provide value as a utility infielder with some actual pop in his bat. Chad Jennings at LoHud laid out all the team's options where all these players are concerned here.
The main takeaway here is that it seems the team is finally ready to move away from starting Drew at second base every day. The same thing happened around this time last year when Brian Roberts was released at the trade deadline for his poor play. Between now and July 31st the Yankees will need to evaluate whether or not Refsnyder is the answer at second base for a playoff push in a division that is easily up for grabs. The offense has been one of the best in baseball this year, so they shouldn't require a huge upgrade to remain in a good position to make up for some questionable pitching at the backend of the rotation. If Refsnyder can provide even league-average offense the team has more than upgraded over what they were getting from Drew. If Refsnyder is unable to show that kind of offense it's entirely possible that the team decides to make a move for Ben Zobrist or Brandon Phillips at the trade deadline. Each of those options comes with plenty of warts, so Refsnyder working out is truly the best case scenario for all involved.
How would you sort out the roster when Ryan and Beltran are ready to be activated from the disabled list? Will Refsnyder be the answer to all of our second base prayers, or will the Yankees still have to be in the market for a second baseman later this month?