Big injuries have not yet affected the Red Sox so much in 2013 as in years past (big “yet” right here), but the little ones are starting to add up right now. First David Ortiz, Franklin Morales, Craig Breslow, and Stephen Drew have missed the season’s opener and now Jose Iglesias, Drew’s replacement at shortstop, is going through some troubles of his own. Iglesias was clearly in pain after being hit by a high heater from Josh Johnson right on the elbow joint, as it appeared he may not continue. He did for a few innings, and the injury didn’t stop him from making a magnificent play at shortstop, but he was out of the game by the fourth inning.
Surprisingly, the normally light-hitting Iglesias has been a big part of the Red Sox lineup this year as he has reached base in every game and is batting .583 (7-12) on the year. Iglesias is listed as “day-to-day” with a right arm contusion and, with Stephen Drew just about ready to return to the Red Sox, it’s possible that this spells the end for Iglesias as the Red Sox starting shortstop.
If Iglesias was to move out from the starting lineup, he would likely be demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. The Red Sox would like to see him continue the progress he has shown since last year (he has 7 hits this year compared to 8 in 68 at bats last year). If he becomes an adept hitter, then he is no doubt the shortstop of the future. However, twelve at bats do not a season make and it’s hard to imagine Iglesias starting with Drew, who signed a 1 year/$9 million deal almost solely because the Red Sox didn’t yet trust Iglesias’s bat.
If this really does spell the end, and Iglesias is Pawtucket bound after his recovery, then there will be some disappointment throughout Boston. After all, it’s hard to demote a young guy who has done everything possible to stay with the big club, especially if the results show. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Sox eventually flip Drew should Iglesias continue to hit in Triple-A.