PHOENIX -- He is a man without a position, and right now, pretty much without a job. But whenever Robert Refsnyder gets recalled by the New York Yankees it seems to send a buzz of excitement through the Yankees Twitterverse. But it is unclear when, or even if, he will get into a game during what is likely to be another short stay with the ballclub.
"Ref's been swinging the bat really well," manager Joe Girardi said. "I believe that I can use him at second, third and right; maybe even left field in a pinch. He’s played the outfield. He’s played some right down there and he’s been moving around, so that’s how I’d use him.”
Refnsyder was not in Tuesday night's starting lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks; his possible positions were filled by Starlin Castro, Chase Headley and Aaron Hicks against Zack Greinke, the D-Backs' right-handed starter.
Refsnyder, who had been in Louisville on Monday night playing for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Yankees AAA affiliate for whom he had been hitting .293 with two home runs and 10 RBIs, was awakened by a phone call at 1:30 am and arrived in Phoenix about 3 p.m. He said he has been on a rotating schedule for the RailRiders, playing two days a week at second base, two at third and two in right-field.
The Yankees had tried making Refsnyder a third baseman in spring training, an experiment that went awry when Refsnyder played a couple of balls off his face in the final days of camp. He was sent down to get more reps at third but was later shifted to right field, the position where Refsnyder said, "I feel pretty natural, to be honest."
“I still think it was a work in progress," Girardi said of Refsnyder's work at third. "I want to talk to our people to see how comfortable he is, (but) the reports have been better. I’ve been using [Ronald] Torreyes there and I would probably lean toward that more."
With Castro ensconced as the Yankees' everyday second baseman, Headley's bat coming around at third, and Alex Rodriguez due to come off the disabled list soon, Refsnyder's role could be limited to pinch-hitting over the next couple of days.
"They’re my boss and I’m pretty much going to do whatever they say," Refsnyder said. "I'm just kinda grateful they have an interest in me doing whatever they need me to do."
Refnsyder was one of three players recalled from Scranton on Tuesday. Also recalled were RHP Luis Cessa, who is likely to serve as the long man out of the bullpen, and James Pazos, who will replace the DFA'ed Phil Coke as a situational lefty. Chad Green, who started and took the loss in Monday's 12-2 defeat, was optioned back to Scranton, as was RHP Conor Mullee, who walked three batters and hit another in his one-inning major-league debut in the same game.