Jose Iglesias on potential return to minors: ‘If I have to go, I don’t mind’
|04.08.13 at 6:42 pm ET|
Jose Iglesias couldn’t have offered much more to the Red Sox over the season’s first week. While he didn’t exactly make resounding contact, he did contribute nine hits in 20 at-bats (.450 average, .476 OBP) while displaying his tremendous defensive abilities at shortstop, playing a meaningful part in his team’s 5-2 start.
Still, there is an excellent chance that the 23-year-old’s 0-for-3 day on Monday (his first game this year in which he failed to reach base) will be his last in the big leagues for a while. Stephen Drew is slated to play his final rehab with Double-A Portland on Monday. After an off-day for the Sox and Drew on Tuesday, the player whom the Sox signed to a $9.5 million, one-year deal this winter is slated for activation from the seven-day concussion disabled list. And when he is, the Sox plan to ship Iglesias to Triple-A Pawtucket, to continue building upon the evident progress he’s made this year as a hitter.
As of Monday afternoon, the Sox haven’t had that explicit conversation with Iglesias.
“We haven’t heard anything, nobody told me anything. I just go out play the game and try to win,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s [GM Ben Cherington's] decision, not my decision. Ben’s, [manager John Farrell's] and those guys’. I just prepare myself to play every day and help this team win and be ready to go every day. … I’m going to enjoy the game no matter where. Obviously you want to play here. The atmosphere it’s fun being around these guys. But if I have to go I don’t mind. I enjoy the game and just wish the best for the team.”
Iglesias made clear that he will not be deterred in his player development if he does head back to Pawtucket, where he played the last two years.
“Every time no matter how and when, I give 100 percent,” said Iglesias. “One year better than the other, one day better than the other ‘ but I play hard every day and do my best.”
While that might not keep him in the big leagues just yet, Iglesias has played well enough to position himself as a viable everyday shortstop in the eyes of the organization should a need arise later in the year.
“If it turns out that that’s the move, then much like any player who has gotten off to a good start it would be hard to swallow it, but there has to be an understanding of where he’s at, and personal and organizational goals aligning. And sometimes that isn’t always at the same time,” Farrell said before the game. “What he’s done is he’s clearly shown that not only do we have a now-ready shortstop to play consistently here ‘ and if it turns out that he becomes depth for us. He’s made very good strides.”
For a player whose previous tastes of the major leagues did not offer such a clear signal of his big league readiness, that represents a considerable accomplishment in its own right.
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