Red Sox place Andrew Benintendi on 45-day IL, ending his 2020
Today we got the news that I think most members of Red Sox Nation were already prepared for. The Red Sox placed Andrew Benintendi on to the 45-day IL, which will effectively end his 2020 campaign. Boston’s left fielder has been out since the middle of August do to a rib injury, and he just hasn’t progressed at the rate that the team would have liked. Considering that the team has no chance of seeing October baseball this year, it was a matter of time before today’s announcement.
Looking at the situation from the outside of the bubble, I couldn’t have made a better decision if I was Chaim Bloom. This season is lost and there are zero reasons to try and even get Benny back in the lineup in 2020. Injured ribs can be incredibly tricky to heal as all it takes is one wrong movement or twist and you’re right back to being unable to breathe. The last that we heard from Ron Roenicke and the Red Sox, Benintendi was still doing some treadmill work but has yet to do any baseball activities, not ideal.
"“(He) understood,” Roenicke said. “He didn’t really want to push things past where he could re-injure himself. In everybody’s opinion, we thought this was the best way to do it.”"
If Boston were closer to a contention spot then I could possibly see them try and get back their defensive dynamo, but with October well out of reach, why bother? Not only has the team totally underwhelmed this season, but Benny has been a strong disappointment in the batter’s box. Much like his outfield comrade Jackie Bradley Jr., Benintendi is known more for his glove than his bat, but his 2020 was beyond bad.
Through 14 games the lefty posted a depressing .103/.314/.128/.442 line with just four hits and 11 strikeouts. Not quite what Red Sox Nation was hoping to see from him, especially with Mookie Betts no longer in the lineup. In a similar fashion to 2019, he was placed in the lead-off spot, and much like last year, he didn’t do very well in the position. It’s clear that he shouldn’t be in that first hitter slot and the next manager should avoid it at all costs.
"“There’s really not a reason to force him to get back to play at the end of the year, knowing that if you’re pushing him, you could cause something else to happen,” Roenicke said."
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I’m looking forward to seeing Benny Biceps come back in 2021 fully healthy and in a spot that allows him to contribute to this team. I’m no psychologist but if I had to guess I think it may be the pressure of being the guy that kicks off the game off and needing to get on base. We all saw what he’s capable of when he hits second in the order. Benintendi is at his absolute best when he can relax in the batter’s box with someone ahead of him on base. The weird thing is, you’re only the lead-off hitter once a game, that’s it, rarely will you be in that spot again in the same night.
The important thing here is that he gets healthy and gets those ribs back and ready for spring training. All the Red Sox need is for him to take one bad swing in Fort Myers and have him down for a full 162 next year. Boston can’t afford to lose him for any more games than they already have, maybe not for his bat, but definitely for his defense. Seriously though, did you see Jose Peraza in left yesterday? Big time yikes.
Andrew Benintendi has been a key cog in the machine that is the Boston Red Sox for several years now. He was a massive reason why they were able to raise another World Series banner in 2018 and can continue to be that going forward. It was a wise move to shut him down and allow him to not only get his body right but his mind as well. It’s clear something isn’t clicking and maybe this time away could be exactly what he needs to get back on the winning track.