Iglesias: Benching "helped me a lot"

Iglesias: Benching "helped me a lot"
May 24, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Jose Iglesias is hitting .434 in 113 at-bats in 2013 with the Red Sox.

(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON – Jose Iglesias, the Red Sox much-heralded shortstop prospect, is back in the major leagues. But not at his customary position. He will play third base Friday night against the Indians. Will Middlebrooks was placed on the disabled list on Friday with a low back strain.
 
Iglesias, 23, played third base for Triple-A Pawtucket Tuesday, for the first time in his professional career, since signing with the Red Sox in September 2009.
 
“That was the first game in my life,” Iglesias said before Friday’s game. “It was fun. I was able to make some plays.”
 
It’s the only game Iglesias has played there before Friday.
 
“It’s different. There’s no doubt,” Iglesias said. “It’s a different position. But I’ll go out there, have some fun and help the team win.”
 
“Best candidate internally,” manager John Farrell said of Iglesias. “And a guy we feel confident will come up and play and play well enough at the position. There’s going to be different angles on balls at third base vs. in the middle of the field that he’ll take. There was 3 1/3-4 days of work prior to his first game with Pawtucket. But yeah, I think it speaks volumes to, he’s an infielder and he’s got very good instincts and reactions. He's not going to have the benefit of the third hop at third base. It’s either going to be that one long hop or the reaction play more so than it would be at shortstop. But again that’s where we think his instincts and his reaction ability will play there.
 
“[He’s] played a couple of games at third base, and in talking with Gary DiSarcina, he’s an instinctual, reactionary player. He’ll need some guidance in-game as far as positioning, which [coach Brian Butterfield] has got a system in place to handle that. He was the guy to fill in.”
 
Butterfield and Iglesias spent some time talking in the Sox clubhouse Friday afternoon.
 
But, Iglesias admitted he had some butterflies at the new position on Tuesday, and expects he’ll have some tonight, too.
 
“Absolutely,” he said. “I don’t even know little things, like where I should throw, where I should be. But I think I’m going to feel more comfortable tonight.
 
“I will be nervous [but] you need to have that playing in this game, a little bit emotional. That's going to push you to be better.”
 
Earlier this week, assistant general manager Mike Hazen said the team’s goal in moving Iglesias to other position was to enhance his viability, should a need on the major league team arise
 
“I think it’s good,” Iglesias said. “I think it’s good for me. I’m moving around, and help the team in deferent positions. It’s fun to move around, watch the game from different angles and it’s fun to be in the lineup.”
 
Iglesias is hitting just .202,with two extra-base hits, both doubles this season. In six major league games, he hit .450, going 9-fpor-20 with two doubles. In his last 10 games before getting called up, he was hitting .143, going 5-for-35, with one home run, three walks, and four strikeouts. He doesn’t have much to show for it, but he’s been feeling good at the plate he said.
 
“[I feel] real good,” he said. “Unfortunately I don’t get the results but I put some good ABs together, and that’s all I can ask for.”
 
Iglesias was pulled from a game and then benched for several games earlier this month, when his attitude was perceived by manager Gary DiSarcina as less than desirable.  Iglesias started the season with the major league team before being optioned to Pawtucket when Drew was activated from the disabled list.  Iglesias initially appeared to respond well to the demotion, before showing signs of frustration.
 
“I think [the benching] helped me a lot,” Iglesias said. “I was not in a good situation at that time. Emotional, whatever it was. I think Gary and these guys did the right thing for me. To put my mind in the right place again. And that’s where I am. I feel happy now.”

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