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One of the best hitters in the Kansas City Royals’ lineup to this point in the season, left fielder Andrew Benintendi, will be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time.
The Royals placed Benintendi on the injured list with a right rib fracture Monday afternoon. They’ve recalled outfielder Edward Olivares from Triple-A Omaha to fill Benintendi’s roster spot. Royals manager Mike Matheny did not have a timetable for Benintendi’s recovery.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound left-handed hitting Benintendi, whom the Royals acquired in February in a three-team trade with the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets, had been slashing .283/.340/.429 with eight home runs, six doubles, 31 RBIs and 19 walks in 60 games.
His offensive production took off after a slow start to the season. In May, Benintendi led the team in hits (33) and batted .340 in 27 games.
He’d been a consistent bright spot for an offense that has struggled recently. The Royals went 7 for 43 with runners in scoring position on their just-completed road trip against the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics.
“He had something grab when he threw yesterday with the ball off the wall,” Matheny said. “He’d been feeling a little bit of something for a while. Obviously, it wasn’t affecting his swing. On the throw, it grabbed him. He was fine last night. Woke up today and it wasn’t right. He had it X-rayed.”
Benintendi played in just 14 games with the Red Sox during the 60-game 2020 season because of what had been labeled as a right rib cage strain. He revealed this winter, after being traded to the Royals, that he’d actually suffered broken ribs.
The Royals (30-34) will play the Red Sox this weekend at Kauffman Stadium for the first time this season.
Olivares has joined the team in Kansas City, and he was listed in the starting lineup for Monday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers.
Olivares has appeared in five games for the Royals this season, going 5 for 18 (.278) with two runs scored. This season at Triple-A, he’d been an offensive force, posting a .370/.452/.610 slash line with six home runs and 18 RBIs in 24 games.