The first clue as to Jose Iglesias' fate may have come several days ago when Bobby Valentine said this about his young shortstop:
"I don't stop believing in a player until I see him kind of stop believing in himself. And I saw that the other day, I thought.He came into the dugout and he had that look of wonderment, of wondering, that I don't like to see. It's not the time to be searching. You can't go into a major-league season searching. You have to be confident."
When Iglesias was sent down Tuesday, it was seen as a victory for general manager Ben Cherington (who's long thought Iglesias isn't ready, offensively, for prime time) over Valentine (who hinted earlier in the spring that Iglesias might be his choice to start at shortstop). But CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam thinks it was more of a case of Valentine realizing Cherington was right.
"I think it was more of an evolution," said McAdam. "There was a change of heart and a realization that perhaps Iglesias wasn't ready."
So how did that realization come about?
"Earlier in camp, Valentine saw Iglesias performing at a higher level than he expected offensively," said McAdam.
But that changed.
"As camp went on," said McAdam, "and Iglesias started facing more major-league caliber pitchers who were using more of their arsenal . . . and he continued to struggle, I think as high as Valentine was on him, he realized that putting him in there now as the everyday starting shortstop was probably more than Iglesias could handle at this point."
That doesn't, however, change Iglesias' long-term potential.
"There's a lot there to like," said McAdam, "and I think everyone agrees: Jose Iglesias is the Red Sox' shortstop of the future."