BOSTON — Andrew Benintendi’s first big league campaign is back on track.
The Red Sox reinstated Benintendi from the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. The rookie outfielder is not in Tuesday’s starting lineup but will be available off the bench.
Benintendi, who sprained his left knee running the bases during an Aug. 24 game against the Tampa Bay Rays, participated in a simulated game Tuesday afternoon in a final tune-up before returning to action. The 22-year-old took live at-bats off Red Sox pitcher Henry Owens that included a fly ball to the right field warning track. He also ran the bases at full speed.
“(Tuesday’s) sim game was more about getting his timing down or seeing some live pitching,” manager John Farrell said of Benintendi before Tuesday’s game. “He’s passed the physical tests along the way, even (Tuesday) with some additional baserunning and sliding, so, if needed, he’s available (for Tuesday’s game).”
Farrell said Monday that Benintendi likely would return later in the week, but the Arkansas product once again was ahead of schedule, proving enough after a baserunning workout Monday that he’s ready to return just 20 days after his initial injury.
“When you see someone go down in a heap like that, you fear the worst,” Farrell said of Benintendi’s injury. “Thankfully, he’s got youth and maybe some quick healing on his side. He’s wearing a brace to protect himself. … With two and a half weeks left in the regular season, this is much earlier than we initially anticipated (him returning).”
Benintendi had been batting at a .324 clip through 21 games since getting called up from Double-A Portland and once again will get the chance to prove himself at the big league level in the team’s final 19 regular season games.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images