BOSTON -- Andrew Benintendi, in his own words, is “frustrated." And you can hardly blame him.
The left fielder spent nearly three weeks trying to figure out what was wrong with his swing, and when he finally seemed to unlock something on Tuesday, Benintendi tripped while running the bases and was forced to the 10-day injured list the next day with a strained right rib cage that will keep him out indefinitely.
“Just frustrated overall that this happened. I think frustrated would be the right word,” said Benintendi prior to Thursday’s game against the Rays.
What exactly happened?
“When I tripped going around second, I landed pretty hard,” Benintendi said. “There was some discomfort. We just thought it would be best to have them take a look at it after the game.”
With his two hits on Tuesday, Benintendi matched the total he had for the season going into that game.
“It's frustrating,” Benintendi said. “Like you said, I got a few hits, I was feeling good, felt like I was about to get hot. So I mean, frustrated.”
Adding to Benintendi’s frustration is that due to the pandemic guidelines, he can’t even stay with his teammates and support them for the games at home or on the road.
“It sucks. I can't stay for the game. I can't travel and get treatment on the road, because of all the health concerns and limiting the active players to potential COVID [exposure],” Benintendi said. “It stinks. Obviously I want to be with the guys and be around the team, but obviously this is a different scenario. So there's not much I can do.”
So what does he do?
“Today I just came in and got some treatment and I'm not allowed to stay here, so I'll probably head home after this and watch the game,” Benintendi said. “As far as baseball activity, it's only been a day and a half, so I haven't done anything.”
Given that Benintendi is hitting .103 with no homers and one RBI, can the time off amount to some type of mental break?
“For me personally, no,” Benintendi said. “I feel like mentally this whole time, I've been in a good spot. Obviously it would be easy to not be. I do come to the park every day excited to hopefully bust out of this little slump I'm in. So mentally I feel strong, so it sucks that this happens, but there's nothing I can do now but get better quickly.”
Bogaerts rests lower half
For Thursday’s finale of a four-game series against the Rays, manager Ron Roenicke decided to keep Xander Bogaerts out of the lineup. With the Red Sox getting blown out the previous two nights, Bogaerts was taken out early for additional rest.
What is going on with the shortstop?
“He’s got a little stuff going [on] in his lower half,” said Roenicke. “Some fatigue there. So I wanted to give him a day off. It was either yesterday, today or tomorrow. He thought today was the best day to do that. He’ll be back in there the next day. It’s not anything that he’s going to be out for. I could use him tonight too. If a big situation comes up, we’ll use him.”
Roenicke thinks the difficulties Bogaerts is experiencing are due to the short ramp-up to the season.
“He’s probably a guy that needed another week or something to get his legs under him and feel good,” Roenicke said. “Some of the guys have had some issues, especially their legs. So he’s fine. I think the way it looks now I don’t foresee any problems after we get him the day off here, and then hopefully he can run through this to the [next off-day].”
Taylor in a New York state of mind?
The Red Sox could finally get key lefty reliever Josh Taylor back during their upcoming four-game series at Yankee Stadium that starts on Friday.
Taylor came to Summer Camp two weeks late due to testing positive for COVID-19 and has been playing catch-up. Fellow lefty reliever Darwinzon Hernandez, who also tested positive at the outset of camp, is just a few days behind Taylor. The only reason being that the Red Sox are stretching him out so they can be flexible about how he is used.
“Josh, you know, has a chance somewhere in this New York City trip to join us,” said Roenicke. “Probably Darwinzon will be after that. Not positive J.T. will be [in New York], but somewhere toward the end of that, we have a good chance to activate him.”