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Now’s not the time for Andrew Benintendi

June 23, 2016

Chris Young’s hurt. The Red Sox could clearly use some help in left field. But even before the season started, their left field situation looked deplorable.

Rusney Castillo, who owned a .566 OPS against right-handers last year, seemed to be the favorite to land the job. It wasn’t his inability to hit right-handers that worried the Sox though, it was his ground ball rate. That led to Brock Holt holding down the job — until he hit the DL with a concussion. And then came Blake Swihart’s chance. He also hit the DL. OK Chris Young, you can have a chance. *Young hits really well (especially against lefties) and then gets hurt*.

This whole situation has been weird. Before the season, they didn’t have a left-handed hitting left fielder. And they still don’t. Their priority was signing Chris Young, a right-handed bat. Not bad. But they didn’t go after someone who could play everyday. And now they’re really hurting because of it.

It has gotten to the point where Andrew Benintendi’s name is coming up among Red Sox fans as a potential call-up. A lot of fans had been calling for it. And one former Red Sox player thinks it’s time for it to happen.

Benintendi is one of the Red Sox best prospects, No Doubt about that. But it might be a little too soon to call him up to play everyday. Lou has some solid points, but Holt is rehabbing with the PawSox right now — so he’d be a solid choice if Young’s hurt. They’re not going to rush Holt back from an injury, but Holt’s return might not be too far off.

The Red Sox really don’t have much depth right now. But everyone should be fearing the Craig Hansen effect — rushing a guy through the minors and ruining his career.

Chris Marrero has hit well in Pawtucket. And Henry Ramos hasn’t been half bad either. Bryce Brentz is on the 40-man roster. Ryan LaMarre is on the Red Sox active roster and Marco Hernandez has experience in left field. Heck, even Travis Shaw has experience in left field — and both catchers have experience at third base — not that they should make that come to fruition out of anything other than last resort.

No one likes this situation. There’s no great option. But they might as well with go with someone with MLB experience.

Don’t expect to see Benintendi in the big leagues until next season. Dave Dombrowski isn’t too high on farm guys, so it wouldn’t be surprising the see the Red Sox go for an actual left-handed hitting left fielder at the deadline either — or sooner.

 


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