Rob Refsynder made his major league debut over the weekend against the Red Sox, but the Yankees made no promises that he’d be with the team beyond the All-Star break. Apparently they saw enough to keep him around:
Refsynder went hitless over his first five major league at-bats before hitting a single and a homer in his final two at-bats yesterday. His two-run homer ended up being the difference in an 8-6 win.
Assuming Refsynder takes over as the regular second baseman, this will push Stephen Drew to a part-time role. Drew has 12 home runs in 78 games this season and still plays good defense, but he’s batting just .182 with a .257 on-base percentage.
Refsnyder, 24, was batting .290/.387/.413 with seven home runs, 37 RBI, and 10 steals over 81 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to his call-up. He had just as many walks (44) as strikeouts. His defense is considered a work in progress, but it’s worth taking a shot on him since Drew flat out hasn’t hit dating back to last season.
Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.
Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.
Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.
As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.