BOSTON -- Shortstop Stephen Drew is expected to play in one more rehab game with Double-A Portland before joining the Red Sox for Wednesday’s game against the Orioles.
That likely means that Jose Iglesias is going back to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Always a great defender, Iglesias’ ability to hit has been the question. But in spring training and through the first five games of the season, Iglesias has shown a much improved approach at the plate. He is batting .529 (9-for-17) with four multiple-hit games entering Monday’s home opener.
“Aggressive,” manager John Farrell said Monday morning of Iglesias’ at-bats. “He’s made contact. He’s found some holes. He’s beat out a couple of infield hits. He’s taking aggressive swings, much like we talked about in spring training. He’s in a pretty good place, back to a natural swing that’s got some pull to it, but that’s what works best for him. He’s also used the bunt on occasion to keep some defenders honest with him. He’s picked out some good spots against left-handed starters to push bunt. And we’ve seen his glove work at shortstop has been outstanding.”
Because of the question marks surrounding Iglesias’ offense, the Sox signed Drew in December to a one-year, $9.5 million contract.
“I think [Iglesias] came in with and expressed some thoughts . . . after the singing of Stephen over the winter,” Farrell said. “And I think he was determined to show some things differently, whether [it was] how he went about his work, [or] what he did inside of given games. He [caught] a break because of an unfortunate situation with Stephen" - Drew has been sidelined with concussion-like symptoms after being beaned in an early exhibition game -- "and he’s made the most of it.”
And, now he will probably get sent down.
“I think we probably have to wait for that move to take place first,” Farrell said. “But no one’s going to take away from what he’s done. If it turns out that that’s the move, then -- much like any player who’s gotten off to a good start -- it’ll be hard [for Iglesias] to swallow it. But there’s got to be an understanding of . . . [how] personal and organizational goals align. And sometimes [they're not the same].
“What he’s done is he’s clearly shown that not only do we have a now-ready shortstop . . . [but] if, turns out that he becomes depth for us, he’s made very good strides, particularly at the plate.”