The Boston Red Sox will once again be without their superstar left fielder as Andrew Benintendi is day-to-day after being removed from Saturday’s game.
The Red Sox are five weeks away from the end of the season and still, find themselves sitting six games back in the wild card standings. They make their way to Coors Field to battle a familiar foe in the Colorado Rockies but they’ll be doing so shorthanded. After being pulled from Saturday’s game against the Padres, Andrew Benintendi is still feeling some tightness in his side and will sit again tonight.
This is easily the worst timing possible for the Red Sox to lose one of their key players as they’re fighting for their postseason life. Though Benintendi may not always be firing on all cylinders at the plate his defense more than makes up for a quiet bat. What he does in left field on a daily basis should be classified as art and placed into a museum. How he didn’t win a Gold Glove last season will go down as a mystery nobody will ever be able to solve.
"“His left side got tight there,” Cora said. “We had to take him out just to make sure he’ll be okay. He’s day-to-day. He wasn’t going to play tomorrow, so obviously we’ll stay away from him. Monday off and we’ll see how he reacts to treatment.”"
Benny felt tightness in his left side during an at-bat on Saturday and was replaced by Jackie Bradley Jr. the following inning. Alex Cora was already planning an off day for Benintendi on Sunday so the mishap actually lined up okay for the Red Sox. Add in the off-day on Monday and things seemed to be set for him to make a return tonight, sadly not so much.
Ahead of the Rockies series, Cora spoke on the status of Benintendi on Sunday and made it clear that the team would be cautious with his health.
"“He’s doing okay. He feels better,” Cora said. “We’ll stay away from him today, he’ll probably get some treatment tomorrow and we’ll know more on Tuesday.”"
Keeping Benny out of tonight’s lineup could be attributed to a long-term plan to get him as healthy as possible for October. That is if the Red Sox make it to the postseason. I think we’re all still positive that this team is far too talented to mess this post World Series campaign up, yet here we are. Five weeks from the end of the season, six games back, and praying that the teams above us slip and we somehow capitalize.
Boston will need all hands on deck to make this final charge towards the holy grail that is October baseball. Andrew Benintendi found himself on the important end of two very incredible plays that led to the Red Sox winning the World Series last season. First was the diving catch that robbed Alex Bregman in the ALCS, and then his “Jumpman” catch in the World Series.
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Seriously, those catches should be painted by the World’s greatest artists and put in the Louvre. This season has just enough life left in it that the Red Sox can still make a jump in the wild card standings and get back to the big dance. Benny is a major part in not only getting back to the Fall Classic but also giving the Sox a chance at raising another banner.
I feel it’s the best decision by the Red Sox to give Benintendi another night off. They have more than enough power at the plate, but they will be weaker in the field. J.D. Martinez will get the call to cover left field while Benny is on the mend tonight. Though Martinez is a more than capable defender, not many are in the same class as Benintendi.
The Red Sox need to take advantage of a lighter schedule this week and absolutely have to win these games. Having Andrew Benintendi in the lineup is a major weapon for Alex Cora but if they get to October and lose him again, it’s all for not. Giving him this extra night off is the right idea in order to better suit the team when the games matter the most.