Red Sox Andrew Benintendi Healing Faster Than Expected
The Boston Red Sox need the spark that Andrew Benintendi created when he arrived. It looks more his comeback will also be a comeback for the offense.
Ian Browne of MLB.com reported that “Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi is progressing better than anticipated in his rehab from a left knee sprain and had a productive day on Monday that included baseball activities. The outfielder will be fitted for a knee brace on Tuesday, and the Red Sox are hopeful he can return to the lineup in the coming weeks, though not on this road trip.”
Hopeful? Is that the right word? Shouldn’t it be desperate?
On August 24th, Benintendi sprained his left knee while trying to avoid a tag back to second base against the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field. Before the play, the 22-year-old rookie from Cincinnati, Ohio was hitting .324/.365/.485, with a home run and 10 RBIs, in the first 21 games of his career. The former first-rounder also put his stamp on the team’s left field position with, possibly, the best catch of the year two games before the injury in the same ballpark. Snagging a ball that had already passed over the wall left many Red Sox Nation members speechless and in awe of the kid’s potential.
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The injury came just as the Red Sox were making a bid to take over the American League East division. Since Benintendi’s been out, Boston has lost seven of its last 12 games, including the last two matches where the Red Sox scored a combined two runs.
A video that captured Benintendi running well across the field, before a recent game against the Oakland Athletics, . Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters, yesterday, that Benintendi “ran on the back edge of the infield here roughly at 80-85 percent intensity” and took batting practice with the team, before their game with the Padres. Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe said that there’s either that method of rehab or the “other idea would be to send Benintendi to Florida for some at-bats in the Instructional League,” since the minor leagues are finishing up for the year.
The first idea seems to be working well. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. As Benintendi is a rookie, he’s not just rehabilitating his knee, he’s learning what it means to play in the big leagues. Any time away from key veterans like David Ortiz or Dustin Pedroia would be a detriment to his growth and development. Ortiz is in his final season with the team, so Benintendi should be around him to soak up as much information as he can. The young man has already proved that he can hang with the big guys, even if it was for less than a month. Benintendi’s play makes him worthy having time to heal with his teammates supporting him, instead of strangers.
Browne reported Benintendi saying, “We would hope that once the brace gets on, then the more change of direction, the cutting will start to take place, and then the baseball activities will continue to ramp up through the weekend series in Toronto.”
Next: Red Sox: When will David Ortiz be back in the lineup?
See? The kid already has the media lingo going. Benintendi’s learning as fast as he’s healing: quickly. And, not a moment too soon. It seemed that Benintendi was the toast of the town in August; however, he will be the comeback kid if he can rejuvenate the Red Sox offense, which has dwindled in the last few days. Boston is only a game behind the Toronto Blue Jays, but they are also only a game in front of the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers for a wildcard spot. The team needs all hands on deck, including Benintendi’s.