Saturday, October 11, 2014


OK, our captain is now gone and we have an off season to ponder what to do next in regards to our shortstop situation.

Already some out there have suggested the Yankees just bring Stephen Drew back and put him into the position he played for virtually his entire career before the Bombers tried to make him a second baseman.

I say go ahead and do that if you are OK with mediocrity.

I have nothing personally against Stephen Drew.  I’m sure he’s an outstanding person and teammate.  There is little doubt that he gets along with the media given the way many of them have pined for his tenure in pinstripes.  I just don’t get it.

Last season he hit .176 with a .989 fielding percentage before joining the Yankees (in a trade for Kelly Johnson).   Once in the Bronx, Drew was promptly put at second base and hit .150 with the Bombers (didn’t think it would get WORSE did you?) with a .971 fielding percentage at second and a .969 (again, didn’t imagine it would be WORSE at his NATURAL position) percentage at shortstop.

Why in their right mind, would anyone suggest bringing Drew back? 

Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests that Drew has suffered from a lack of spring training.  That implies that he thinks with more games Drew will be serviceable at the plate.  Here’s the problem I have with that:  Drew played in 85 games in 2014.  His average by month was: June - .143, July - .206, August - .153, and September - .147.  He didn’t get better the more he played, Joel.

I think the Yankees have an opportunity to fill our vacant infield spot using resources “in-house”.  Jose Pirela, the infielder called up in September who hit .333 over the seven games he played in “the show”, has over 300 games at shortstop under his belt.   He was called up to fill an occasional role at second base and DH because he hit .305 at Scranton.  The 24-year-old can flat out hit.

One player not called up in September (curiously)  is Rob Refsnyder, a second baseman for the RailRiders.  He has been on the fast track through the Yankees farm system and hit .300 over 77 games at Scranton.  The 23-year-old is our future at second base.

I suggest the future is now.

They may be young, and have virtually no experience at the highest level of baseball, but both Pirela and Refsnyder represent immediate upgrades over Stephen Drew in spite of what people like Joel Sherman might think.

Our captain, who recently hung up his spikes, was just 22-years-old when Joe Torre and Gene Michael decided to give him a shot – knowing full well that his best years were ahead of him.

Rather than continuing to ignore that model of success and disgrace the very strategy that gave birth to a Yankee icon by bringing in a player whose ceiling has collapsed upon him, Brian Cashman needs to trust our own talent.  He should embrace what his predecessor used to create baseball’s  most recent dynasty, and put his faith in successful players within his minor league organization.

You don’t honor the legacy of Derek Jeter by trying to replace him with a 30-something player unable to hit his weight.  Instead, you pay tribute to what Jeter was by giving the next line of youth their chance.

The current Cashman model has made the Yankees a stale, 85-win team.  It’s time to once again infuse this team with young, ambitious players that have proven themselves at the minor league level.  The talent is there, we just need a GM with the guts to give it a shot.


--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1


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