The New York Yankees are about a week away from starting their first playoff series in the ALDS against either the Tampa Bay Rays or Cleveland Guardians. However, they will likely be without several impact players due to injury, notably Frankie Montas and Ron Marinaccio.
It is possible they return for the ALCS, but one other trade acquisition at the deadline this year, who was supposed to make a significant impact, may miss the playoffs altogether.
Andrew Benintendi, acquired from the Kansas City Royals, broke the hamate bone in his wrist on September 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Since then, he’s been healing and recovering in a contract year, making his return unlikely.
Lately, Benintendi has been hitting off a tee, but he’s still not cleared to practice or participate in any live-action drills. He has been ruled out for the ALDS with a slim chance of making an appearance in the ALCS.
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The Yankees didn’t get the best version of Andrew Benintendi:
Before joining the Yankees at the deadline, Benintendi was hitting .320 with a 38.7% on-base rate, including three homers and 39 RBIs. His numbers dropped significantly once he came to the Bronx, hitting .254 with a 33.1% on-base rate, including two homers and 12 RBIs. His strikeout rate elevated from 13.3% to 19.1% but was starting to hit his stride toward the end of August.
The entire concept behind trading for Benintendi was to replace Aaron Hicks. Instead, the Yankees ended up giving Oswaldo Cabrera significantly more playing time, factoring Hicks out of the equation, nonetheless.
Cabrera has taken the opportunity and run with it, hitting .247 with a 31.2% on-base rate over 44 games. He’s already hit six homers with an 8.8% walk rate and 111 wRC+. He also features nine defensive runs saved above average in the outfield, showcasing incredible defensive metrics.
If Benintendi were to return, he would likely steal reps away from Cabrera, which may not be ideal given how dominant he’s been the past few weeks.
At the end of the day, things might’ve worked out for the best, but if Benintendi ends up missing the entire playoffs, a meaningless game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 2 may be the last day he wears pinstripes.