The question, which has percolated in some corners of the Yankee universe, was posed to the man who would ultimately decide: Could Jose Pirela soon be an option at second base in place of Stephen Drew?
"No," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said on the phone Thursday. "I think Drew's been fine. Right now, I'm not looking at anyone being an alternative at second base to Drew. I'm surprised you asked the question."
Drew's average is up from last year when he hit .150 in 140 at-bats with the Yankees. He is at .177 in 62 at-bats.
His power numbers are truly improved as he already has four homers in nearly 80 less at-bats compared to three for the Yankees last year . His OPS is .693, which is more than 200 points better than his .491 last year.
Playing mostly second and some short, Drew has been pretty good defensively, save for the throwing error on Monday night that cost the Yankees a run. All and all, in Cashman's estimation -- which is one of the only ones that count -- Drew should not be looking over his shoulder.
Pirela is still rounding into form after his concussion in the spring, while Rob Refsnyder has begun slowly at Triple-A. Both players could be blocked by Brendan Ryan, who should be back in the next few weeks after his calf strain. The Yankees, at this point, would prefer that Refsnyder and Pirela develop more if they aren't going to receive regular time on the major league level.
Pirela has just one hit in 14 at-bats between Single-A and Double-A on his rehab. He hit .370 during the spring.
"He is a little rusty with the bat," Cashman said.
Pirela is further along as a second baseman than Refsnyder. It seems as if the Yankees would be more confident in the infield with him than with Refsnyder.
"His [infield] defense was fine," Cashman said of Pirela's spring work. "His outfield defense wasn't very good."
The good news is that Pirela is healthy so he could turn himself into a viable option, if Cashman changes his mind on Drew.
As for Refsnyder, after going 3-for-7 the past two days, he has pushed his average from .246 to .263 in 76 at-bats. His fielding is still the issue at second. A converted outfielder, Refsnyder is still trying to master second, as evidenced by his seven errors in 19 games.
"He has struggled out of the gate, both offensively and defensively here in April in Scranton," Cashman said.
Since Cashman is happy with Drew, Refsnyder and Pirela have more time to put themselves in position if Drew falters this year or they could strongly be considered for the starting job in 2016.