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Cervelli to rehab with Thunder; Refsnyder promoted

Francisco Cervelli (hamstring) is nearing a return to the Major Leagues.
Francisco Cervelli (hamstring) is nearing a return to the Major Leagues.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

TRENTON – New York Yankees catcher and former Trenton Thunder star Francisco Cervelli will re-join his old squad as part of a rehab assignment beginning on Wednesday against the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Cervelli has played just five Major League games this season, recording three hits in 16 at-bats. He suffered a strained hamstring against the Boston Red Sox in mid-April. The Yankees’ reserve catcher has already played an additional five rehab games with High-A Tampa and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The 28-year-old catcher will become the fourth Yankee to play a rehab game with the Thunder this season, joining Brendan Ryan, Bruce Billings, and Shawn Kelley.

In other roster news, the Thunder lost one of their best hitters from the season’s first half prior to Tuesday’s series-opener with Richmond. Second baseman Rob Refsnyder was given a well-deserved promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after dominating the Eastern League pitching.

Refsnyder, a product of the University of Arizona, leaves Trenton tied for fourth in the Eastern League in batting average (.342), tied for second in hits (78), tied for first in doubles (19), tied for second in triples (5), tied for second in extra-base hits (30) and tied for fifth in slugging percentage (.548).

Those numbers have skyrocketed with a strong showing in the past month. Refsnyder hit .430 (49-for-114) with 20 extra base hits in his past 28 games. He had recorded 14 multi-hit games in his final 16 Eastern League games while establishing himself as one of the best second base prospects in all of baseball.

Had he remained in the Eastern League through July, Refsnyder would have been a surefire All-Star selection. However, he showed no signs of slowing down, going 2-for-4 in his Triple-A debut for Scranton on Tuesday evening.

Right-handed pitcher Jairo Heredia has been transferred to Trenton’s active roster to take Refsnyder’s place.

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