Many people may be surprised to hear that the Red Sox hottest hitter has been sent down to the Minor Leagues.
Spending most of his time in Triple A, the 23-year-old Jose Iglesias played 88 games with the Pawtucket Red Sox last season and finished with a .266 AVG and a .318 OPS. Iglesias also played 25 games with the Boston Red Sox that year, finishing with a .118 AVG and a .391 OPS. Though not the best numbers for Iglesias, the Sox still felt that he deserved a shot at stardom in place of the injured Stephen Drew.
Iglesias clearly took advantage of this opportunity. Batting .450 with a .476 OPS, Iglesias lead the team in average and with nine hits. Not only was Iglesias statistically the best player on the Red Sox at the time, but he was making a claim for why he deserved to be an everyday starter — a claim that was apparently not good enough in the eyes of Sox management as Iglesias was optioned back to Triple-A following the activation of Drew.
The much anticipated debut of Drew has started off rather cold. In five games played, Drew has posted a .125 AVG, a .263 OPS and has struck out five times in 16 AB.
That said, he shouldn’t lose his starting job due to injury, and manager John Farrell seems to agree. He recently discussed the matter with the Boston Herald’s Ron Borges, explaining, “We’re certainly not going to take away from what Jose’s done, but we signed a premium guy in the off season to be our starting shortstop. We’re not going to look at an injury to cause him to lose his job.”
The way Farrell is making it sound, this situation seems more like a money issue then anything else. Drew is currently signed to a one-year contract worth $9.5 million. Boston expects Drew to be worth every penny, and benching him is not the solution.
But for Drew doubters, the numbers speak for themselves. Though Drew is coming off an ankle injury, he has two hits over his last 16 AB, clearly not what the Sox had in mind when they signed him. Though Drew is in an early-season slump, he is a veteran presence that Boston is fortunate to have at the shortstop position, one they have been weak in over the years.
Drew is also known to be a clutch performer come playoff time. With 12 games of playoff experience under his belt, Drew has averaged a .299 BA, a .346 OPS, 2 HRs and 5 RBIs. Though Iglesias was off to a hot start, it seems that Farrell prefers experience over youth.
For now, this season has turned into a waiting process for Iglesias as he must sit back and wait for another opportunity to return to the Big Leagues. Seeing that Drew is only signed to a one-year deal, Iglesias might have to fall back on the saying of, “patience is a virtue” and wait until next year.