Red Sox Andrew Benintendi Doesn’t Pitch

Jun 13, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks outfielder Andrew Benintendi (16) hits a sacrifice RBI against the Virginia Cavaliers in the third inning in the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks outfielder Andrew Benintendi (16) hits a sacrifice RBI against the Virginia Cavaliers in the third inning in the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /
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For those who keep wanting trades for big bats or minor league prospects like Andrew Benintendi to come up, let’s clarify: the Boston Red Sox need pitching!

The Red Sox have the most runs scored, the best team batting average, and the most RBIs by far in both major leagues. Sure, they haven’t beaten anyone lately by a landslide of runs, but they have been adding to the scoreboard every game. Even last night, Boston scored two runs; the problem was that the Texas Rangers scored six before they got to the eighth inning.

Then, one only needs to look at the headlines in the media, and the discrepancy reveals itself. Much of the talk has been complaining about the Red Sox pitching staff and how Sandy Leon‘s bat is too hot to allow Christian Vazquez to be the starting catcher or how Benintendi’s time in the minors is taking too long. Many fans feel that the time has come for another big bat, whether a veteran or a rookie, to be added to the starting lineup.

So… is everyone giving up on actually fixing the problem?

Nobody’s saying it will be easy to just correct the issues with a pitching staff that’s struggles for three years in a row. It’s just that, last time anyone checked, Benintendi plays in the outfield. Leon is a catcher. Don’t expect them to be throwing on the mound any time soon, not that it would help much at all if they did.

As far as Benintendi’s status is concerned, when observing the health issues of the injured left fielders already adjusting to life on the bench for the Red Sox, Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald reported Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski’s recent thoughts:

"“It was a simple choice really because [Bryce Brentz] was doing better than anybody in the outfield,” Dombrowski said. “Our choices with the number of injuries we’ve had, we’re pretty deep into our depth at this time. Ideally we probably would’ve preferred to have a left-handed hitting outfielder but we just don’t have one at this time.”"

Mastrodonato added that Dombrowski feels “Benintendi was not considered for the latest open roster spot, even though [he] admitted the Red Sox would have preferred to add a left-handed hitting outfielder, like Benintendi, to the roster.”

And, Dombrowski’s right. Why should the Red Sox rush the advancement of one of their best prospects for the possibility that he can help an already-effective batting lineup score some more runs? Are they to shellshock Boston’s future for the next five to 10 years just for the off-chance that they can outscore the competition in a proverbial shootout for the rest of the regular season?

The organization must do what’s best for the team as well as the fans, not just this season but for years to come. Knee-jerk reactions to terrible play are what brought big contracts with little production to the team in the first place. Calling up prospects who are not ready yet will only compound the problem, especially when run production isn’t necessarily the biggest issue that the team has at present. The Red Sox could have Benintendi hit a home run in his first seven games and it wouldn’t help them at all if the opposing teams are cashing in six runs a game against them.