TAMPA, Fla. — Rob Refsnyder started at second base for the Yankees in their wild-card game loss to the Astros and appeared to be in line to be part of a platoon at the position in 2016.
But that possibility, which the Yankees were never much interested in, ended in December when GM Brian Cashman acquired Starlin Castro from the Cubs to be the everyday second baseman.
Refsnyder’s reaction at the time?
“Not much reaction,” the 24-year-old said early Wednesday afternoon after a workout at the club’s minor-league complex. “Doesn’t really change how I go about my business. Obviously, Starlin’s a great addition for the Yankees. He’s young and I’m looking forward to learning from him.”
Refsnyder, who played two years in the minors in rightfield before a position switch to second, experienced his struggles in the transition, which started in 2013. But after a brutal start defensively to 2015, Refsnyder, whose bat has made him a favorite of Yankees fans, settled down.
And he held his own, at the plate and in the field, after being called up in September, producing a .302/.348/.512 slash line in 12 games, eight of them starts. Barring an injury to Castro or utilityman Dustin Ackley, however, Refsnyder will start the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“It was nice to kind of contribute at the end,” he said of his September performance. “It was definitely a good feeling to have those things work out. You can work in the cages and on the field for a long time [but] once you get on the field you really hope those things pay off.”