Andrew Benintendi left out of Red Sox lineup once again tonight

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox hits a double during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox hits a double during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Red Sox will be without their star left fielder as the open a fresh series with the Detroit Tigers tonight. Could that be for the best?

As lineups were announced earlier today for tonight’s clash with the Detroit Tigers a familiar name was missing. Andrew Benintendi is once again on the bench tonight for the Red Sox while he works on some mechanics. He was left out of last night’s lineup as well as the Sox are hoping to get him some extra batting cage work going into the All-Star break.

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This hasn’t been quite the season that many were expecting for Benny and sitting a few games very well may be what he needs. Seeing live action is always important but when you’re trying to diagnose an issue with mechanics being in the cage gives you the best opportunities. With the time off and the added mini-break that the All-Star game provides, we could see a white-hot Benny come the second half.

The season started off with a bang for Benintendi as Alex Cora made it known that the left-fielder would become the new leadoff man instead of Mookie Betts. On the surface, this was a bit of a head-scratcher as the formula of Betts leading off into Benny provided a stellar offense in 2018. But up to this point, AC has very rarely made any poor moves, this would become one of them.

With the flopping of the batting order, neither guy seemed too comfortable in their new roles and both struggled for much of the first half of the season. Though he had a strong showing in June, batting .312, it was an atrocious 0-12 stretch in his last three outings that would get him the extended break. Cora spoke before yesterday’s finale with Toronto on why Benny wouldn’t be in the lineup against the Jays.

"“His swing is not where he wants it to be,” Cora said. “I wouldn’t say he’s frustrated. But it’s kind of one of those where I feel like, unplug him today. Show up early, work with Timmy and hopefully he can see the results right away. The numbers, they’re close. But it doesn’t feel that way. And he doesn’t feel great mechanically.”"

With the All-Star break just days away this is a great move by Cora. Having Benny in the lineup won’t be a make or break for the Sox especially if his confidence isn’t where he’d like it to be. If the Red Sox want to mount any sort of comeback charge towards October in the second half they’ll need Benintendi firing on all cylinders.

"“He doesn’t feel as hitter-ish,” Cora said. “His hands are not firing the way they usually do. If you look at videos from Andrew in college, all the way to last year, it’s the same swing. There’s a lot of swing-and-misses (this year). A lot of chasing pitches up in the zone. Early in the season was breaking balls down and in.”"

The strikeout number is something that Sox fans may worry about as he’s got 81 whiffs already on the year when he finished 2018 with just 106. The increased total could be due to the batting order switch and wanting to be more aggressive as the lead-off. It’s difficult to know for sure but hopefully, he is able to get his swing back in time to make a difference.

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Andrew Benintendi is a major player in the not only offense but the defense of the Red Sox. He was a huge component in winning the World Series last year and will be vital in the defense efforts. Missing a few games to get his mechanics back can only benefit Boston in their attempts to make it back to the Fall Classic. With the All-Star break right around the corner now is the time to get the ship back on course and headed for the postseason.