Rob Refsnyder made his return to the Boston Red Sox on June 10, just hoping not to “screw anything up” for a team that had seemingly found their groove. In the games since his return, he’s become a consistent bat and superb glove for a depleted outfield, serving as a mid-season hero for the surging Sox.
When asked about the 31-year old’s recent play following the win, manager Alex Cora gave some much deserved praise.
“He passed the test before. We knew that he was going to be a part of this,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “… He was patient, we were patient. He can hit lefties, he’s a good athlete and he’s done a great job. He was great down (with Triple-A Worcester), not only playing but also with the young players and with the staff. He’s locked in, he understands what we’re trying to accomplish.
“He’s been in winning organizations, so am I surprised? Maybe with the results, they are what they are. But as far as the approach, and the process and all that, I’m not surprised.”
The results Cora talked about are astounding. Refsnyder has 11 hits in 27 at-bats this season in the big leagues. Those numbers are tremendous, but it’s the way in which he’s affecting the game that has been so impressive.
Kiké Hernández’s absence is what brought Refsnyder back up from Worcester, thrusting him into the top of the order. All he’s done is get on base 46% of the time, keeping the pressure on opposing pitchers and making the lives easier of his superstar teammates further down the order. When Jarren Duran becomes ineligible during the Red Sox’s trip to Toronto, you can be sure that Refsnyder will be slotted back into the top of the order.
The playing time has been spare for the journeyman outfielder, but there’s little doubt that Refsnyder has been Boston’s MVP off the bench this month, perhaps earning himself a spot on the roster for the remainder of the season.
Refsnyder and the Red Sox will begin a nine-game road trip on Thursday when they travel to Progressive Field to take on the Cleveland Guardians. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, following an hour of pregame coverage live on NESN.