Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Robert Refsnyder Getting the Derek Jeter Treatment?

On May 29, 1995 the New York Yankees called up their top prospect Derek Jeter after both Pat Kelly and Tony Fernandez suffered injuries throughout the season. Jeter lasted a whopping 13 games where he hit .250 with two errors before being demoted back to Triple-A where he stayed until September 1st. When rosters expanded the Yankees called up their young shortstop and top prospect but somewhat surprisingly did not allow him to play much. The Yankees were in the middle of a Wild Card chase and only allowed Jeter into two games in September, one was as a defensive replacement in a Yankees blowout victory and one was a start where he got one at bat before being replaced by Randy Velarde at shortstop. Does any of this sound somewhat familiar?

The New York Yankees called up Refsnyder on July 11, 2015 and allowed him into four games before optioning him back down to Triple-A. Refsnyder, like Jeter, has concerns about his defense and the line of thinking was that the half season in Scranton would only be beneficial to the young 24-year old. Refsnyder remained in a RailRiders uniform until September 1st when the Yankees traded him for a uniform without his name on the back and a fresh set of pinstripes. Refsnyder sat on the bench on September 1 and has remained there through Labor Day despite the fact that the Yankees have faced multiple left-handed pitchers.

Brendan Ryan has gotten starts, Jose Pirela has gotten starts and entered late in blowout victories but Refsnyder has remained on the bench with his bat and glove in his hands. Is Refsnyder being groomed and taught while on the bench with the 2016 season in mind like Jeter was in 1995 with the 1996 season in mind? Will Refsnyder travel with the team if/when they make the playoffs despite not being on the postseason roster like Jeter did in the 1995 American League Division Series? Those two questions don't have answers at this time but it's not too early, in my opinion anyway, to start merely pointing out the similarities in the two situations (not the similarities in the players).

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)