The Royals have placed outfielder Andrew Benintendi on the 10-day injured list due to a right rib injury, manager Mike Matheny told reporters (including MLB.com’s Anne Rogers). Outfielder Edward Olivares is being called up to take Benintendi’s 26-man roster spot.
The specific injury occurred during a throw Benintendi made during yesterday’s 6-3 Royals loss to the Athletics, though Matheny said Benintendi has “felt something for a bit” beforehand. This could potentially indicate a longer stay than just 10 days on the IL for the outfielder, especially since a broken rib led to an early shutdown of Benintendi’s 2020 season with the Red Sox.
It’s an unfortunate turn of events for both Benintendi and the Royals, as the 26-year-old is in the midst of a quality bounce-back season. Benintendi has hit .283/.340/.429 over 241 plate appearances for Kansas City, good for a 110 OPS+ and 112 wRC+. After a slow start over the first three weeks, Benintendi has posted an .880 OPS over his last 174 PA.
Kansas City acquired Benintendi as part of a three-team trade with the Red Sox and Mets in February, with the Royals ultimately parting ways with Franchy Cordero, Khalil Lee, and minor league righties Grant Gambrell and Luis De La Rosa in their share of the deal. It was one of multiple aggressive moves by the Royals front office to make the team more competitive, though the club is now 30-34 after an early surge in April. While K.C. plans on becoming full-fledged contenders as soon as 2022, Benintendi’s injury (depending on how long he’s sidelined) might point the club towards selling at this year’s trade deadline.
With Benintendi out of action, Olivares might get the chance at an extended look at the big league level. Acquired from the Padres in the Trevor Rosenthal trade last August, Olivares hasn’t hit much in 120 PA in the majors, but he has been shredding Triple-A pitching this season (a .370/.452/.610 slash line and six homers over 115 PA).