9:45pm: Benintendi will probably miss more than 10 days, manager Ron Roenicke told Alex Speier of the Boston Globe and other reporters.
6:56pm: The Red Sox have placed left fielder Andrew Benintendi on the 10-day injured list with a right rib cage strain, per a team announcement. The club recalled right-hander Ryan Weber from its alternate training site in a corresponding move.
Benintendi’s IL placement continues what has been an abysmal start to 2020 for the typically sturdy producer. A former star prospect, the 25-year-old Benintendi combined for a line of .277/.354/.442 (109 wRC+) with 51 home runs, 52 steals and 9.0 fWAR in 2,052 plate appearances. So far this season, though, Benintendi has failed to hit a homer and batted an unsightly .103/.314/.128 (47 wRC+) across 52 PA, owing in part to a 32.4 percent strikeout rate that sits 13-plus percent above his lifetime figure. Benintendi has also seen his hard-contact rate plummet, and while he has never been a major power threat, his paltry .026 ISO represents a sharp decline and ranks third to last among 169 hitters who have racked up at least 50 trips to the plate.
Thanks in part to Benintendi’s drop-off, the Red Sox have opened 2020 at 6-11 – good for last in the AL East. They figure to go with a regular outfield alignment of Kevin Pillar, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Alex Verdugo while Benintendi’s unavailable. Pillar and Verdugo have been fairly productive so far, though Bradley has joined Benintendi in coming out of the gates slowly.