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For new arrival Refsnyder, opportunity awaits

Ex-Yankee has chance for playing time with injuries to Tulo, Travis
MLB.com

TORONTO -- After three seasons spent trying to establish himself on the Yankees' roster, Rob Refsnyder might finally be in the right place at the right time with the Blue Jays.

Prior to Sunday's game against the Angels, the Blue Jays announced an MRI on Troy Tulowitzki's right ankle revealed ligament damage that will be evaluated further after he meets with a specialist. With Devon Travis still on the disabled list, too, the door has been left open for Refsnyder.

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TORONTO -- After three seasons spent trying to establish himself on the Yankees' roster, Rob Refsnyder might finally be in the right place at the right time with the Blue Jays.

Prior to Sunday's game against the Angels, the Blue Jays announced an MRI on Troy Tulowitzki's right ankle revealed ligament damage that will be evaluated further after he meets with a specialist. With Devon Travis still on the disabled list, too, the door has been left open for Refsnyder.

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"I wasn't really anticipating another AL East team to be honest, so I was excited," Refsnyder said on Saturday. "Obviously, I'd played in Buffalo a couple times throughout the year, so it was nice. It seemed like a better opportunity than the one I was getting the last couple years in New York."

Second base has been Refsnyder's primary position through the Minor Leagues, but he's also been used at first base, third base and both corner-outfield positions.

"I can't even dial down where exactly I was playing," Refsnyder said. "A couple different spots, so I was just trying to stay ready with the coaching staff at a couple different ones. It was kind of more of an insurance policy, if somebody got hurt or something like that, so I was bouncing around a lot."

Refsnyder isn't far removed from his prospect days, and as recently as 2015, he was ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Yankees' No. 4 prospect, one spot ahead of Gary Sanchez. In 2015, Refsnyder was ranked No. 6 in the Yankees' organization, just one spot behind someone named Aaron Judge.

His up-and-down tenure in New York means that this is Refsnyder's final option year, but if he's able to translate some level of his offensive success in the Minors over to the Major League level, he could also represent a 25-man roster option in 2018 and beyond given his remaining years of team control.

General manager Ross Atkins indicated recently that the team's priority at Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline will be young and controllable talent, which was accomplished in a small way by dealing Minor League first baseman Ryan McBroom for Refsnyder. Across six Minor League seasons, Refsnyder hit .295 with an on-base percentage of .380.

That hasn't translated over to the MLB level yet, where Refsnyder has hit .241 with a .312 OBP. A new teammate might be able to help him crack that code, though.

"I think I'm 0-for-30 against Aaron Sanchez," he said, "so I was talking to him a little bit on the bench."

Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

Toronto Blue Jays, Rob Refsnyder