TAMPA, Fla. -- After being hit in the face twice at third base in the past two days, Rob Refsnyder's bid to make the Opening Day roster ended on Sunday as the infielder was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
A converted outfielder, Refsnyder has primarily played second base as a professional but was attempting to prove that he could handle third base, which the Yankees saw as a prerequisite for making the 25-man roster out of camp.
"Our feeling is, we want him to go play more third," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We feel that if he can do them both, it would really be valuable to us. We're going to get him multiple, multiple days down there at third base. It's tough. We thought he made progress while he was here. We're just asking him to make some more."
Refsnyder committed four errors -- three in the Yankees' past two games -- and had X-rays on Saturday, which were negative, before being sent down prior to Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Twins. Refsnyder batted .242 (8-for-33) with a homer and three RBIs this spring, and Girardi said that the pair of bad-hop grounders didn't have much impact on the decision.
"There's nothing he could do about that," Girardi said. "Maybe he had 15 plays; he might have had two or three easy ones, is all he had. We just feel like more reps would be extremely beneficial."
With Refsnyder eliminated from the competition, the Yankees project to decide between Pete Kozma and Ronald Torreyes, both of whom are rated as better defensive players.
Kozma is a non-roster invitee, while Torreyes is on the 40-man roster. Kozma is batting .167 (4-for-24), while Torreyes had produced a .313 (10-for-32) spring average.
"These are guys that can really defend," Girardi said earlier this week. "You watch Torreyes, he finds a way to get the barrel of the bat to the ball all the time. He's not a guy that's going to hit you 10 home runs, but he's going to put the ball in play.
"You look at Kozma, he's going to battle through his at-bats. He's swung the bat better lately. So, yeah, they're realistic choices for us."
The Yanks are also expected to keep an eye on the market for infielders who are trimmed from their clubs prior to Opening Day on April 4.
"You know, that's always a possibility," Girardi said. "My thought is that it will come out of this camp, but it's a possibility. You never know what's going to happen at the end of camp."
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.