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A look at why the Red Sox have sent down Jose Iglesias

03.27.12 at 11:33 am ET
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Jose Iglesias will start the 2012 season with Triple-A Pawtucket. (AP)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Jose Iglesias’ reaction when Bobby Valentine and Ben Cherington broke the news to him Tuesday morning that he wouldn’t be making the major league club coming out of Red Sox’ spring training?

“Disappointment,” the Sox’ manager said. He later added, ““He was very professional in his conversation. We all felt there was emotion in the room.”

Understandable.

Then Valentine was asked if it was a difficult call sending out Iglesias, thereby anointing Mike Aviles the Red Sox’ Opening Day shortstop.

“It was not a tough a decision,” he said. “Eventually things play themselves out and it’s easy to do the right thing, I think.”

So, then the came the next logical question: Why?

Valentine’s explanation had to do with a combination of Iglesias perhaps starting to go the other way in regard to his confidence, along with the continued encouragement gained from watching Aviles.

“He’s working on things,” Valentine said of Iglesias. “About two weeks he had a mechanic that looked like it was real functional and I think an 0-for-3 took him out of it. That’s one of the things that he has to develop: confidence in his program.”

“He’s pretty close,” the manager later added. “I mean if something crazy happened tomorrow and Mike was traded for Greg Maddux, who’s making his return or something, I think that Jose could be our shortstop. He’d just have some more difficult developing days at the major league level than I think he will at the minor league level. It’s real tough to sharpen your teeth with major league pitching, as Frank Howard used to say.”

Then there was the presence of Aviles, who has totaled nearly twice as many spring training at-bats as Iglesias while making just one error and totaling a .333 batting average and .867 OPS.

“There were a couple factors in what we were evaluating. Mike just didn’t do anything wrong, that’s for sure,” Valentine said. “He did most everything right.”

And, finally, Valentine explained the explanation regarding the process of coming to the decision. As the manager pointed out the day before, it was, and continues to be, a collaborative effort when formulating the roster.

“Debate? I think we’ve had discussions every day on our team, a couple of times on Jose. It was never a debate,” he said. “I never even knew what side [Cherington] was taking and I don’t know if he ever knew what side – if that’s what it was – that I was taking. We spoke of both players, every day evaluated them and – not only me and Ben, I mean as a staff, this was a staff meeting last night – I think it was a pretty universal – I wouldn’t say 100 percent – but it was a group decision where everyone was on the same page. … I’m totally onboard. I like to think it was partly my decision. I like to think that.”

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