Andrew Benintendi, an All-Star outfielder and a potential trade target for several teams before next month’s deadline, is one of 10 Kansas City Royals players who are not vaccinated against covid-19 and will be included in the restricted list before his team is four years old. series of games in Toronto that begins Thursday.
In addition to Benintendi, the team will be without utility players Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier; receivers Cam Gallagher and MJ Melendez; outfielders Michael A. Taylor and Kyle Isabel; and pitchers Brady Singer, Brad Keller and Dylan Coleman, Royals manager Mike Matheny said.
Prior to this series, Canada’s vaccination requirements had led to only 25 players in the league being placed on the restricted list. Most recently, the visiting Phillies were forced to leave four players behind. The Royals will dramatically expand that roster, with nearly 40 percent of their 26-man roster having been declared ineligible. The team will fill out its roster with players from the minor leagues.
Players on the restricted list do not receive service time and are not paid for games they lose.
Singer, a right-hander who allowed one run in six innings during Wednesday’s victory 5-2 on the Detroit Tigers, he would not have been scheduled to pitch in Toronto regardless of his vaccination status. But the Royals will deeply miss some of the other players, none more so than Benintendi, who raised his batting average to .317 on 2-for-4 shooting Wednesday.
While the four-game shortage is an issue, a more pressing concern for Kansas City, which is 18 games under .500 this season and last in the AL Central, could be how this news affects value. commercial of Benintendi. Seen as a target for teams looking for a hitter to put the ball in play, Benintendi’s ineligibility for games in Toronto could complicate any potential deal.
Benintendi, 28, will be a free agent after this season. A first-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2015 out of the University of Arkansas, he has career highs in batting average and on-base percentage so far this season, and is hitting .414 ( 24 of 58) in his last 16 games. But his value is somewhat limited because he doesn’t bring much in terms of power, baserunning or defense.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have their own pre-series drama, with the team having announced the dismissal of Manager Charlie Montoyo on Wednesday. Montoyo was popular with players, media and fans, but Toronto began the season with World Series aspirations and has so far underperformed with a 46-42 record that has them 15.5 games behind the Yankees in the East. of the American League and in a virtual tie with the Seattle Mariners for the third and final wild card in the American League.