Andrew Benintendi needs to play every day
Just based off what the Boston Red Sox have done in the past, it feels like they rushed Andrew Benintendi. And now, their use of him seems a little suspect.
He made the jump from Double-A to the big leagues because the Red Sox were not able to upgrade the position at the trade deadline. Specifically, they weren’t able to land Carlos Beltran, so they figured a guy with no MLB experience would be the next best thing. Yes, Benintendi is probably their second best prospect (to Yoan Moncada), but this management of him seems strange to say the least.
The Red Sox are clearly trying to win now and that’s why they called up a guy who had not stepped foot on a Triple-A diamond before he even had 162 pro games to his name. And in his first three games up with the big league club, Benintendi has only started one of them. Being a left-handed bat, manager John Farrell said he would be platooning Benintendi with Bryce Brentz — a right-handed bat who is hitting .275 with a .726 OPS against lefties.
Benintendi is still young though. And he’s still developing. It’s not like he’s Brentz and has the ceiling of a platoon player. There’s high expectations for Benintendi, so it might not be in their best interest to play him part-time knowing he has played full-time for his whole life up until this point.
A quick glance at the box scores would also indicate not only can Benintendi hit left-handed pitching, but he did so better than he did against righties in Portland. Was the sample size smaller? Sure. But a .326 batting average and a .900 OPS against southpaws isn’t bad.
Realistically, Brentz is probably better against lefties, but Benintendi seems to be as close to platoon neutral as guys come which means he actually could play everyday if the Red Sox wish.