Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Benintendi not platoon player, just in slump

Following hot start, Red Sox rookie's bat has gone cold
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BALTIMORE -- Thursday marked the third time in the past four days that slumping rookie left fielder Andrew Benintendi was on the bench against a lefty starter.

But Red Sox manager John Farrell stressed that it's not a trend that will necessarily continue.

View Full Game Coverage

BALTIMORE -- Thursday marked the third time in the past four days that slumping rookie left fielder Andrew Benintendi was on the bench against a lefty starter.

But Red Sox manager John Farrell stressed that it's not a trend that will necessarily continue.

View Full Game Coverage

"I think when we go through a stretch where there's maybe two, three games where you take advantage of your roster, all of a sudden it becomes a platoon," said Farrell. "He's not a platoon player. But you pick spots where guys can maybe spark an offense with Chris Young being inserted. I don't see him as a platoon player."

After a fast start, Benintendi hasn't been able to generate any production in the past three weeks. In his past 64 at-bats entering Thursday, the left-handed hitter slashed .125/.234/.141 with five RBIs and just one extra-base hit, a double. He pinch-hit in Thursday's 7-5 loss to the O's and remained in the game in left field.

Video: TEX@BOS: Benintendi opens the scoring with RBI single

From Opening Day until May 9, Benintendi was perhaps Boston's best hitter, slashing .339./.400/.516 with five homers and 22 RBIs. Since then, opponents have adjusted to him.

"There's been, I think a heavy dose of constant changing of speeds," said Farrell. "He's been respected because he does show power. At times, you see him in the middle of that, maybe caught in between on speeds at times. But still, good-looking young player with a great swing. And when we look back after this full season, his numbers will be right in line where we kind of projected them to be."

The rut Benintendi is going through is something nearly every player goes through in a first full season. The top players -- which the Red Sox think Benintendi is -- figure out a way to make the adjustment. Mookie Betts went through a similar drought in 2015.

"No doubt about it," said Farrell. "He came to us on a roll as every young player does and there's not a lot known on him. Now that the book gets out and you see certain ways pitchers are attacking him, that's all part of a young guy getting established every day."

Worth noting

• The Red Sox made an interesting roster move Thursday, recalling their option of left-hander Robbie Ross Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket from May 19, and placing him on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation. Though Ross didn't inform the club he was hurting before being sent down, he wasn't able to pitch once he got to Pawtucket.

"Unfortunate situation. Fortunately, there's no serious damage there, and we'll need some time to get over the inflammation," said Farrell. "In my conversations with [president of baseball operations] Dave [Dombrowski], we felt, 'OK, if this is a player that sustained some soreness here, treat him right and do what's right by him.' He's given us two-plus years of good performance and as a result, recall him, put him on the DL here."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Andrew Benintendi