Andrew Benintendi’s lost season puts his Red Sox future in question
Red Sox fans can tolerate one losing season, but not two. Boston’s plan to clean house and build from within has been the signature road map for Chaim Bloom, who was brought over last offseason from the Tampa Bay Rays. Bloom is among the most well-respected front office minds in baseball, but beginning his reign in Boston’s ranks by trading away Mookie Betts tested the patience of Sox Nation.
A 60-game campaign was a gift of sorts for this franchise, which now gets to limit its losing. Yet, this so-called “lost season” has been a setback for some of its players, including Andrew Benintendi. The former Boston golden boy and Rookie of the Year candidate in 2017 hasn’t looked the same his past two years traversing the outfield in Fenway Park. 2020 was hopeful for a breakthrough, but has instead offered up nothing but further questions.
Is Benintendi’s future in Boston?
The 26-year-old is heading into a contract year, and was very available at this season’s trade deadline. His slash line of .103/.314/.218 is downright putrid even in limited action. Per CBS Sports, “Benintendi’s 82.8 mph average exit velocity and 22.2 percent hard-hit rate both rank in the bottom four percent of the league.” He now doesn’t get a chance to right those wrongs thanks to a rib injury.
“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. Chaim, Brad, myself and Benny. There’s really not a reason to force him to get back to the end of the year knowing if you’re pushing him that you can cause something else to happen,” manager Ron Reineke said of Benintendi’s injury situation, per WEEI.
Pushing himself or not, the odds of the Red Sox favoring Benintendi over a potential free agent outfield target — such as Marcell Ozuna, who we already know hits well at Fenway Park — are slim to none.
Questions lie ahead for a Red Sox organization that has money to spend, regardless of what they brag about to their fanbase. Will they take the quick upgrade or remain patient with an oft-injured potential All-Star?