NEW YORK -- Upon activating Carlos Beltran from the disabled list, the Yankees have sent down rookie second baseman Rob Refsnyder, who had become something of a fan favorite despite playing in just four major league games.
The decision means that Stephen Drewreturns as the Yankees' starting second baseman, at least for the time being. Drew was in the lineup, batting ninth against Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on Sunday.
"We just felt that we are in first place and Stephen Drew has played a part in that," Joe Girardi said after the Yankees' 2-1 win in which Drew went 0-for-2 to drop his average a point to .181. "We play a lot of games at this ballpark. This ballpark is favorable to him. We are going to stay with him for right now."
Beltran has been out since the beginning of July with a left oblique strain. The 38-year-old is batting .260 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 66 games, and his OPS is .739, which is 100-plus point worse than his career .844 mark.
The Yankees were faced with a decision on how to deal with their roster crunch with Beltran returning. They could have designated infielder Brendan Ryan for assignment instead of sending down Refsnyder.
"I'm kind of the low guy on the totem pole," said Refsnyder, who started all four games during his call-up.
During his three-year, $5 million contract with the Yankees, Ryan has been mostly injured and hasn't played in many games. If the Yankees had designated Ryan, they would have had to trade him in the next week or he would have been eligible to sign with another team. The Yankees would still have been responsible for the remaining money on his deal. The team also could have sent down reliever Branden Pinder.
Refsnyder went 2-for-12 with a home run in his four games. The concern for the Yankees, though, was if he could field well enough to unseat Drew.
"He's a work in progress," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "There is no doubt about it. He has made huge strides from what we saw in spring training at second. We feel he will continue to make them."
Now he will just do it at Triple-A, as the Yankees turn back to Drew.
Yanks demote Rob Refsnyder, activate Carlos Beltran from DL