Apr 7, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias (10) throws out Toronto Blue Jays baseman Mark DeRosa (not pictured) at the Rogers Centre. Boston defeated Toronto 13-0. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox Roundtable: What Do The Red Sox Do With Jose Iglesias When Stephen Drew Returns?


Last week BSI ran a poll asking what you thought the Red Sox should do with Jose Iglesias once Stephen Drew returns from the DL. What was not know at the time was just how hot Iglesias would remain.

As of Sunday’s trouncing of the Toronto Blue Jays Iglesias was batting .529 with a .556 on base percentage. Since mid-way through spring training on through the first week of the  regular season he continues to exceed expectations and in doing so may force John Farrell’s hand. Friday night after getting hit in the elbow in an at bat in Toronto he made a stunning backhand stab and submarine strike off his back leg to Dustin Pedroia to get an improbable force out at second base. I’ve watched a lot of baseball. This play stuck with me all weekend.

Proponents of the hardcore business aspects of the decision say that Boston has 9 million reasons to insert Stephen Drew into the lineup. They cut a deal in the offseason to make him Boston starting shortstop and Farrell says he intends on honoring it.

Those who support Iglesias say that he’s ready and is doing exactly what the Red Sox have asked him to do, namely start hitting to complement his stellar field play. From a financial perspective the Red Sox have nearly as much tied up in Iglesias as they do Drew. Including his $6.5 million 2009 signing bonus and salary since the signing, Boston has approximately $8.5 million invested.

After over 100 votes, our poll showed that 90% of you thought that Boston should either keep playing Iglesias and insert Drew once he cools off of stick with Iglesias even if he cools off. Only 10% of you thought that Drew should be inserted into the lineup when he was ready and that Iglesias should be sent back to the minors. Our readers have spoken. Now it’s time for the BSI staff writers to weigh in.

Join the the commentary. This is a juicy one.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Jose Iglesias

  • John Fahrer

    I believe a WEEI article has stated that Iglesias will indeed be sent down once Drew returns. They could opt to send Bradley down, put Gomes in left, keep Iglesias at SS, shift Drew to 3B, and shift Middlebrooks to 1B until Ortiz returns.

    • John Fahrer

      And Napoli could be the primary DH in the interim

    • Conor Duffy

      I think that it’s too late to make a move like that. It would be best to try guys at new positions during spring and Middlebrooks and Drew have no experience at either of the positions you are suggesting moving them to. Besides, Middlebrooks is rounding into an excellent defensive third baseman and before his ankle injury (which he seems to be fully recovered from), Drew was a solid defensive shortstop.

      • John Fahrer

        Agree that it likely won’t happen. But they could still keep Iglesias and have Drew DH while sending Bradley down during the time Ortiz is still out.

        Have a feeling Middlebrooks will eventually be moved to first down the road. Bogaerts is the better athlete. Third base requires more athleticism than first. The move from third to first is an easy transition. See Pujols, Albert.

  • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

    Defense is finally getting noticed with its own stats and with Wizardry, comes the long-awaited breakthrough.

    Drawing solely on freely available baseball statistics, Michael A. Humphreys shows how to apply classic statistical methods to estimate runs saved by fielders going back to 1893. Humphreys tests his results against other fielding measures, including published ratings based on proprietary batted ball location data, and explains their respective strengths and limitations.

    http://www.amazon.com/Wizardry-Baseballs-All-Time-Greatest-Fielders/dp/0195397762

    Let’s compare
    Iglesias, Drew, and Ciriaco in Baseball Reference, which lists under
    “Sabermetric Fielding” a stat called Rtot/yr
    [see below]

    In 2012,
    Iglesias rates a +16 and Drew was a -12, but Pedro Ciriaco rated a +23.

    [Rtot/y = Total Zone Total Fielding
    Runs Above Avg per 1,200 Inn

    The number of runs above or below average the fielder was worth per 1,200
    Innings (approx 135 games).

    This number combines the Rtz, Rdp, Rof, Rcatch
    numbers into a total defensive contribution.

    See the glossary section for a more complete explanation.

    Provided by BaseballProjection.com]

    With Ciriaco as an excellent defensive backup for Drew, and Iggy’s weak
    batting skills, the Sox should send Iglesias to AAA to get ABs and work in the battingcage with Dave Joppie, 47, who was promoted from the Portland Sea Dogs (AA) to become the new hitting coach for the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2013.

    • John Fahrer

      SS has definitely gone back to being more defense first rather than offense first.

      In my fantasy draft this year, I took Tulowitzki with my top pick because it’s a significant dropoff after that. Tulo is probably the one SS who’s a complete package, a guy who’s a middle of the order threat as well as a gold glove caliber defender.

  • Paul Prims

    I think since management seems determined to get production out of Drew once he comes back Iggy has to go back to PawSox because you have to have him playing every day. He can’t languish on the bench. Not sure I agree with it but that’s how it is. I make these comments from section 16 at Fenway on opening day!

    • John Fahrer

      Drew definitely will be in the starting lineup upon his return. But there is a way they could also keep Iglesias in there as well at least until Ortiz returns:

      Send Bradley down, move Gomes to LF, Napoli to DH, Middlebrooks to 1B, Drew to 3B, keep Iglesias at SS. Right now Bradley looks like he needs to spend some time at AAA. He’s cooled off considerably since that NY series.

  • Conor Duffy

    John Farrell and management have been very clear that Stephen Drew is the Red Sox’ starting shortstop. Even though Iglesias’s stats look gaudy on the surface, they have been buoyed by all the infield (and generally lucky) hits he has gotten. Iglesias would have to play everyday and thus be demoted to AAA. Drew is generally a better hitter and if Iglesias continues to rake down in Pawtucket, the Red Sox can flip Drew at the deadline and let Iglesias play everyday for the longterm.

  • Aidan Flynn

    I wasn’t a fan of the Drew signing from the start because I knew that a healthy Iglesias could have similar value with just his glove and without the injury circus brought on by Drew. Given his contract, I expect the Sox to give Drew all opportunities to succeed, with that likely meaning a demotion for Iglesias. Give me the steady glove, no matter the bat right now. He can still have a major impact on the team with his defense, bat or not.

    • John Fahrer

      Drew’s a decent defender. If he comes up big, we can let him depart with a qualifying offer.