When Jose Iglesias found out he would be heading to the Detroit Tigers at the trade deadline, he probably didn’t expect to be taking Miguel Cabrera‘s place.
Cabrera was scratched from Friday’s game against the Chicago White Sox due to discomfort in his hip, which meant Iglesias played his first game as a Tiger in the position of the reigning MVP and Triple Crown winner. They brought him in as a contingency plan with Omar Infante on the disabled list and a possible suspension to Jhonny Peralta looming, but third base is nothing new for the 23-year-old Cuban.
Iglesias’ versatility is another reason they felt the need to add him and it was on display Friday. He made a double-play look easy in his only fielding attempt at third base and drove in the first run of the game with a two-out RBI single in the close matchup.
He made solid contact in two other plate appearances, but had nothing to show for them. One went to the warning track in left field while the other required a diving stop by Jeff Keppinger at third base to take an extra-base hit away from Iglesias.
Iglesias came to the Tigers because of his defense and his ability to play multiple infield positions, and that versatility was tested from his first game. He has played plenty of third base for the Boston Red Sox this season, but they brought him in to fill in for Peralta at shortstop. The bottom line is, he should be able to give the Tigers a defensive advantage at any of the positions he plays, which is a welcome sign for a team that doesn’t have a ton of range on the left side of the infield.