MINNEAPOLIS — Another day, another position for Rob Refsnyder.
The fan favorite utility man, who has served primarily as the first baseman with Mark Teixeira on the DL, started at second in Saturday’s 7-6 victory over the Twins as Starlin Castro received the day off.
“We’re trying to find him at-bats because he’s played well since he’s been up,” Girardi said of Refsnyder. “Second base is what he’s played the most over the last few years.”
After going 1-for-3 Saturday, the 25-year-old Refsnyder has a .283/.333/.391 slash line in 18 games. In addition to playing first base, he has played in rightfield.
“I feel comfortable doing that,” Girardi said of moving Refsnyder around.
There have always been questions about Refsnyder’s ability to field any position, but so far he hasn’t had any issues, even turning an impressive 3-6 double play on a ground smash in Friday’s 8-2 victory.
“The play he made at first was an outstanding play,” Girardi said.
How much longer Refsnyder remains in the big leagues is up in the air.
Teixeira, on the DL with a cartilage tear in his right knee, ran the bases before Saturday’s game and said he’s still on target to appear in rehab games Tuesday and Wednesday, with a return to the big leagues Friday. Ike Davis isn’t going anywhere and the Yankees could be forced, when Teixeira returns, to send Refsnyder down.
“Every test he has passed so far,” Girardi said of Teixeira. “So we’re looking at a couple more days of work, then sending him out (for rehab games).”
A-Rod closing in on 700
DH Alex Rodriguez’s two-run homer in the seventh inning Saturday gave him 695 in his career, but the 40-year-old said the chase for 700 hasn’t entered his mind.
“Not really,” he said. “Honestly, it felt so good to drive the ball and hit the ball in the air and help us win a game. It was nice to get in the mix there.”
Rodriguez had not homered since June 3 and had just three extra-base hits in his last 16 games entering Saturday.
Not quite a platoon but . . .
Austin Romine has blossomed as Brian McCann’s backup this season, performing well behind the plate and at it, hitting .272 with two homers and 13 RBI.
McCann toted some rough numbers into Saturday’s game — a .211/.320/.383 slash line with eight homers and 27 RBIs, but only two homers and nine RBIs in his previous 19 games (in which he’s slashed .098/.233/.235). Saturday McCann went 0-for-4.
“Ro’s going to play,” Girardi said of Romine. “I wouldn’t necessarily call it a platoon but when I play him, it’s usually going to be against lefthanders.”
RHP Luis Severino was 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in four starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre entering his start Saturday night, but Girardi didn’t sound overly enthused in his evaluation of what he’s seen on tape.
“It still needs work,” Girardi said. “I know the numbers have looked good but I still think you can look at fastball command. I think his breaking ball was better his last start (Monday), I think it had more depth. I think his changeup could still use some work, too.”