What Would You Do With Jose Iglesias When Stephen Drew Returns?
The knock on Jose Iglesias has always been his hitting both from a production and an approach perspective. The Red Sox have been clear with him; learn to hit and get on base and good things will happen. Iglesias’ defensive skills are unmatched in the organization but it’s his stick that has kept him in the minors.
Apr 1, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias (10) reaches on an infield single allowing a runner to score during the second inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
If you have followed my columns over the past few years you know that I have not been an Iglesias proponent, that is until I pulled my head out of my butt and really watched him during the 2013 spring training season as he hit .294 and had an OBP of .324. To be fair there was a whole lot more to appreciate this season that in years past. In the offseason Iglesias spent four days with Dustin Pedroia trying to understand what it takes to be a Major League hitter. Something must have clicked. Iglesias has not only been hitting but has clearly been more aggressive at the plate. How can you learn from Pedey, after all, and not become a bit frothy at the mouth after drinking his Kool Aid?
Even though Stephen Drew has not played a regular season inning in a Red Sox uniform, John Farrell is going to stick to his promise that no player should be penalized and drummed out of a starting position due to injury even though the fact is it happens all the time. Ask Drew Bledsoe about Tom Brady.
"I admire Farrell and Boston’s integrity but this situation has to be managed with the organization’s overall strategy and goals in mind. What if Drew comes back and is slow to come up to speed or his injury hampers him enough to make him underperform but is not so severe that a test would detect it and Drew decides to remain mum about it to keep his job? Stephen Drew’s a stand up guy with a lot of character. Again, however, this stuff happens all the time."
In the meantime you’ll have a demotivated young shortstop possibly on the cusp of filling a decade-long gaping void in the Red Sox lineup who is languishing in the minors waiting for either another injury or for Drew’s two year contract to expire. Personally, this feels like a serve youth Jackie Bradley Jr. moment all over again. You’ve articulated to Iglesias for two years what he needed to do. He’s now doing it, albeit for two games in the regular season (5-9, .556 BA, .556 OBP) but his spring stats support that this may be no fluke. What if he keeps on doing it right up to Drew’s return, the Sox stay hot (their 2-0 start is the first time this has happened in Boston since 1999), get off to a great start and Drew’s minor league rehab performances are lackluster? Mr. Farrell, you hot seat awaits.
This story, however, isn’t about me, the other Red Sox scribes and pundits, nor about Red Sox management. It’s about you. Tell BSI what you think. Post you vote on the poll below and drop a comment at the end if you like. Our writers love hearing from you.