Andrew Benintendi's injury could mean trouble for the Red Sox

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Just two days after making what could be the catch of the season, Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi suffered a gruesome knee injury that could end his season. In the top of the seventh inning of Wednesday night’s Red Sox game, Benintendi was at second base and started running to third when Dustin Pedroia hit a grounder to the shortstop. But the runner at third base, Travis Shaw, didn’t advance, so Benintendi had to scamper back to second. That’s when he took a very bad step and went down to the ground, clearly in a lot of pain.

Benintendi is definitely headed to the disabled list, but until the MRI there’s no way to know how bad the injury really is. They’re calling it a knee sprain right now, and Benintendi said to the Boston Herald that it was “just stiff” after the game. But the MRI could reveal something a lot worse, especially since he also told the Herald that he couldn’t even feel his ankle. Here’s a closer look at the injury, and just a warning: it’s pretty ugly.

It’s a rough twist for Benintendi. Since he debuted on August 2, he’s been one of the most productive hitters on the Red Sox, pulling a .324/.365/.485 line in 21 games.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 24: Shortstop Matt Duffy #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays tags out Andrew Benintendi #40 of the Boston Red Sox after Dustin Pedroia grounded into the double play during the seventh inning of a game on August 24, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Andrew Benintendi mere milliseconds before injuring his knee (Getty Images)

This leaves the Red Sox in a bit of a bind. Before Benintendi came up, left field was primarily staffed by Brock Holt and Chris Young. But neither of them is an ideal replacement. First off, they’re both trying to shake off injuries. Brock Holt is dealing with oblique soreness that’s kept him from the lineup for four days. Chris Young returned on Monday from two months on the DL with a hamstring injury, and it’s not easy to return to form after that.

But the form is also a problem. While we don’t know if Benintendi could have sustained his blistering pace over the long run, his replacements definitely aren’t up to that level. Young has hit .278/.347/.511 over 2016, which isn’t bad at all. But against right handed pitching he’s hit just .235/.293/.424. So hopefully Holt, who’s hit .251/.317/.481 overall this season, is a demon against right handers, right? Well, demon isn’t really the word. He’s hit .275/.329/.425 against righties, which isn’t bad, but you probably want better numbers in a platoon.

Maybe Benintendi’s injury won’t be serious, and he’ll be off the DL in just 15 days. But it could easily be a lot more, and it’s even possible that he’d miss the rest of the 2016. No matter what, it’s a blow to their season, and the Red Sox are going to have to absorb it.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher