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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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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?

‘€œDisappointment,’€ the Sox’€™ manager said. He later added, ‘€œ’€œHe 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.

‘€œIt was not a tough a decision,’€ he said. ‘€œEventually 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.

‘€œHe’€™s working on things,’€ Valentine said of Iglesias. ‘€œAbout 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.’€

‘€œHe’€™s pretty close,’€ the manager later added. ‘€œI 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.

‘€œThere were a couple factors in what we were evaluating. Mike just didn’€™t do anything wrong, that’€™s for sure,’€ Valentine said. ‘€œHe 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.

‘€œDebate? I think we’€™ve had discussions every day on our team, a couple of times on Jose. It was never a debate,’€ he said. ‘€œI 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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