Yankees to give Refsnyder a look at third base

Club's No. 9 prospect aiming to crack roster; Starlin to also try out hot corner

Yankees to give Refsnyder a look at third base

TAMPA, Fla. -- It looks like Rob Refsnyder needs to order a new glove or two. The Yankees have decided that they will audition the infielder at third base during Spring Training, general manager Brian Cashman said on Thursday.

Cashman said that the Yankees will also try Starlin Castro at the hot corner as a possible backup for Chase Headley. Castro is viewed as the starting second baseman, while Refsnyder is looking for a way to crack the Opening Day roster.

"We're going to take a look at it," Cashman said. "We're going to take a look at all that, in conjunction of testing the temperature of the players in time to see what their feelings are toward it as well."

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Refsnyder, who turns 25 in March, is rated as the Yankees' No. 9 prospect by MLB Pipeline. Refsnyder said that he is excited for the opportunity, and hopes that he made an impression on manager Joe Girardi last season, when he batted .302 with two homers and five RBIs in 16 games over two stints with the Yankees. He played 15 games in the field -- all at second base.

Refsnyder's solo jack

Girardi started Refsnyder at second base in eight of the Yankees' final 11 regular-season games, then put his name in the lineup against left-hander Dallas Keuchel and the Astros for the American League Wild Card Game.

"There's just such a history of winning in New York and a tradition of winning," said Refsnyder, who has never played third base in his professional career. "Joe wants players that he knows can help him win. I think it was more just Joe trusting me as a ballplayer.

"I think it took some time and it took him seeing me play. I think that was the biggest thing, just Joe trusting me as a player. It's flattering that they trust me enough to work me out at a new position and see how it goes."

Though the Yankees view Alex Rodriguez as only a designated hitter at this stage of his career, it's likely that he would have plenty to tell Refsnyder about the position switch to third base. That's a resource Refsnyder plans to tap.

"Alex has always been a wealth of knowledge for the younger guys," Refsnyder said. "I'm sure once we get going here, I'll sneak Alex aside and ask him for some advice. I'm ready to go."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.