Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell Stands By Rookie Outfielder Andrew Benintendi And Says He Is Not A “Platoon Player”
In a storyline that is surprising to many, including me, Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell came out and took a stand in support of rookie Andrew Benintendi after claims of him being a platoon player.
Before getting into why this is surprising, let me explain what has happened to the young left fielder.
Andrew Benintendi has seen his playing time decrease with his struggles, with Red Sox manager John Farrell often times sending out Chris Young against left-handed starters.
“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. He’s not a platoon player,” Farrell said before the series opener against the O’s. “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.”
Heading into May 10, Andrew Benintendi possessed a .916 OPS. Since that time, however, the lefty hitter has gone 8-for-64 (.125) with just one extra-base hit.
Despite what his stats are saying right now, Farrell believes his young player will be able to turn it around at the plate.
“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.”
The Red Sox manager added, “There’s been, I think a heavy dose of constant change of speeds. 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. And know, when we look back after this full season his numbers will be right in line where we kind of projected them to be.”
This comes as a surprise to me, yes Benintendi has been in a slump, but that is the game of baseball, it is a game of slumps. Benintendi is a young player whose quick swing has shown he has the talent to make it in the majors. What has happened to him is the scouting report has caught up to him and major league pitchers now know how to throw to Andrew effectively.
What happens now is Benintendi has to figure out how to respond to this since it is the first time in his career he has been figured out. This is where Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis and others on the bench can look at film and help the young ballplayer snap out of his slump.
Anyone saying Benintendi is a platoon player is foolish, at this point the worst thing for him is to be in that type of position, he needs at bats to get better. All it takes is one game, grab a hit or two, or even a couple of good at-bats can knock a hitter right out of slump. I have full faith in Benintendi to hit his way out of this prolonged slump.