Red Sox Notes: Andrew Benintendi Debuts At Double-A; Joe Kelly Dominates

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Andrew Benintendi continued his ascent up the minor league ladder Monday, making his Double-A debut less than a calendar year after wrapping up his collegiate career at Arkansas.

Benintendi, whom the Boston Red Sox selected seventh overall in the 2015 MLB Draft, started in center field and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout as the Portland Sea Dogs defeated the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 2-0.

Touted as Boston’s third-best prospect by MLB.com, Benintendi has impressed at every level during his rapid rise through the Red Sox’s system.

The 21-year-old began his pro career last season by batting .290 in 35 games with short-season Lowell, then posted a superb .351/.430/.581 slash line in 19 games at Single-A after earning a late-season promotion to a stacked Greenville squad.

Benintendi then began this season at High-A Salem, put up .341/.413/.563 totals and was promoted once again after just 34 games.

Heavy rains in Kansas City prevented the club Benintendi hopes to one day play for from taking the field Monday night against the Royals, but here are a few assorted bits of news from around the Red Sox organization:

— A young Yaz was on hand Monday night in Pawtucket.

Baltimore Orioles outfield prospect Mike Yastrzemski, the grandson of Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski, made his Triple-A debut as the Norfolk Tides visited the PawSox.

The 25-year-old Yastrzemski, who was born in Andover, Mass., and played his high school ball at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, singled in his second at-bat against rehabbing Red Sox starter Joe Kelly.

— Kelly, who could rejoin Boston’s rotation as soon as this Saturday, was dominant in his third rehab start with Pawtucket, scattering five hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out 10 and walking just one.

The right-hander has not pitched for the Red Sox since suffering a shoulder injury April 19.

— Switching gears to the big club, Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was recognized Monday as the American League Player of the Week.

The honor was well-deserved — Bradley batted .469 with a 1.298 OPS last week and is in the midst of a major league-best 21-game hitting streak — and teammates David Price and Chris Young both took to Twitter to congratulate the red-hot outfielder.

Bradley’s recognition also earned him an interview with MLB Network — and an all-time videobomb from a shirtless Hanley Ramirez.

— The Red Sox recalled infielder Marco Hernandez from Pawtucket on Monday morning after designating right-hander Sean O’Sullivan for assignment.

— The punch Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor landed to the face of Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been the talk of the baseball world since Sunday afternoon.

Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield, who coached Bautista in Toronto before joining the Sox in 2012, offered an interesting take on the haymaker and the melee that ensued in an interview with WEEI.com’s John Tomase.

?As far as the fight goes, you?d rather not see it happen, but when guys get hit and there?s a history, that?s going to happen every once in a while,? Butterfield told Tomase on Monday. ?I?m fine with it. I?m sure it?s a different feeling in both of those clubhouse, but I was really fine with everything that went on.?

To read more from Butterfield, click here.

Thumbnail photo via Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports Images

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