Red Sox

Andrew Benintendi falls out of Rookie of Year race, into temporary platoon

Andrew Benintendi falls out of Rookie of Year race, into temporary platoon

BALTIMORE — A lefty was on the mound Thursday and Andrew Benintendi was out of the Red Sox lineup. Chris Young, resident expert hitter against southpaws, was in the outfield instead.

If Benintendi were hitting well overall, it’d be a harder choice for Red Sox manager John Farrell. Sit Benintendi, or maybe Jackie Bradley Jr.? Keep both in? 

But Bradley Jr., a left-handed hitter like Benintendi, has done very well in limited action against southpaws this season. Hanley Ramirez isn’t playing first base for the time being, so you can’t use Young in the DH slot. Plus, Sam Travis’ bat is one you want out there.

All of it adds up to a platoon situation for Benintendi, a temporary necessity for a player many expected at season’s outset would win American League Rookie of the Year.

“I think when we go through a stretch where there's maybe two, three games where guys get — you take advantage your a roster, all of a sudden it becomes a platoon,” Farrell said Thursday. “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.”

No one does. But right now, that’s how he’s being used. In a perfect world for development, Benintendi is playing every day. Same with a guy like Travis. But the win-now Sox need to maximize production.

Benintendi won’t win Rookie of the Year, by the way. 

The Yankees’ Aaron Judge has virtually locked it up, and it wouldn’t be close even if Benintendi were playing better. Judge has a .690 slugging percentage.

Benintendi, on the other hand, is hitting .266 with a .341 on-base percentage and .388 slugging percentage overall. In his last 18 games (17 starts), he’s got a .125/.234/.141 line.

“There's been, I think a heavy dose of constant change of speeds,” Farrell said of how Benintendi has been pitched. “He's been respected because he does show power. So there's been not the default 2-0 fastball where it's, here, try to get an out. He's had some damage in those counts and those situations. So I think there's a clear cut attack plan where it's a heavy dose of change of speeds. 

“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. … When we look back after this full season, his numbers will be right in line where we kind of projected them to be.”

Benintendi’s been in the clean-up spot, but it’s hard to justify that placement right now, unless it’s to maintain the dynamic around him — and to show confidence he’ll bust out.

"I think he's been good. We've asked a lot of him too,” Farrell said. “Particularly as we've gone through a realignment in the lineup. Slid him down to the four-hole which he handled well. Like a lot of players there's going to be some ebbs and flows to the season. He's in a little bit of one right now. Chris Young has swung the bat well against Wade Miley so a little bit of a matchup in play here. But we fully expect Beni to be on the field the next three games here against right handers.”

Red Sox minor leaguer Oscar Hernandez suspended for second positive drug test

Red Sox minor leaguer Oscar Hernandez suspended for second positive drug test

Red Sox minor league catcher Oscar Hernandez has been handed a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse, our own Evan Drellich reports.

Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in January and currently is on the Triple-A Pawtucket roster. The 24-year-old will be able to return in late May.





Wright suspended 15 games for violation of domestic-violence policy

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Wright suspended 15 games for violation of domestic-violence policy

Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended 15 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, NBC Sports Boston has learned. The league is set to make the announcement Friday.

Wright, working his way back from right knee surgery, has to serve the suspension when healthy. Potential time on the disabled list to begin the season would not count. Wright is not expected to appeal.

Wright was arrested at his Tennessee home in December following an incident involving his wife, Shannon. Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call, which are misdemeanors in Tennessee, and released on a $2,500 bond.

The case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse. If Wright commits no other offenses for a 12-month span, the charges are expected to be dropped.

Fifteen games matches the lowest suspension MLB has given out in relation to a domestic violence case since the league and players union agreed to a policy in 2015. Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia was suspended 15 games in March 2017.

"It's a situation that, it sucks not only for me, but for my family, for the team," Wright told reporters in Florida on Thursday. "But I try not to think about it. When MLB comes out with their discipline, or if there's going to be discipline or not, it's just going to go from there."

Wright said this spring that he did not harm his wife.

“We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it,” Wright said. “We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard. Because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night.”