Valentine considers Iglesias for shortstop

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Valentine considers Iglesias for shortstop

FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox enter spring training with questions at several roster spots, including shortstop. Nick Punto, Mike Aviles, and Jose Iglesias are all candidates for the position.

On Wednesday morning, manager Bobby Valentine spent some time hitting groundballs to a group of infielders that included Iglesias.

Iglesias, the much heralded Cuban defector who turned 22 in January, is considered a defensive whiz, with limited offense, drawing comparisons to Rey Ordonez, whom Valentine managed for parts of seven seasons with the Mets. Ordonez won three Gold Gloves, but hit just .246 in his nine-season career with the Mets, (Devil) Rays, and Cubs.

"My first impression of Iglesias, Valentine said. is that he can catch it. I bet you he can throw it after he catches it, too."

I did see similarities with Rey Ordonez in ball-glove action. Initially, it looked like he had more range than Rey."

Iglesias made his big league debut last season, going 2-for-6 in 10 games. He was limited in 2010, his first season in the United States, to 57 games for Double-A Portland by a thumb injury, but was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket last year, where he hit just .235 with one home run and 31 RBI in 101 games. In two minor league seasons, he has hit a combined .261 with one home run and 51 RBI in 171 games.

Asked if his team could afford little to no production at any position, especially shortstop, Valentine replied:

"Probably not. My fast brain says probably not."

Valentine acknowledged he could perhaps learn from his time with Ordonez.

"I didnt do a very good job of developing Rey into an offensive player, Valentine said. Maybe I can learn from what I didnt do. That was a challenge to get offensive production out of Rey Ordonez. Rey wasnt a very receptive person. Rey didnt adapt or receive well. It seems that Jose would be a little different than that."

Valentine said he kept Ordonez in the lineup because he didnt have a lot of alternatives. Would he do the same with Iglesias?

Its a different world, he said. A different situation."

Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

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Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

Quotes, notes, and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over the Yankees.

QUOTES:

* "He gathered himself and got a little rhythm as the night went along.'' - John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "That's a rarity for Betances to leave his breaking ball up like he did. Once David saw it up, he attacked.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz's game-winning homer.

* "There's no sign of him slowing down. Tonight is a prime example of it. Key moment, big hit when we need it. There's a long resume there and it's continuing to build.'' - Farrell on Ortiz's ability to deliver in the clutch.

* "There were some mechanical adjustments that I made. I came out a little erratic, trying to do too much, maybe focusing too much. But as game went on, I kind of got into a rhythm.'' - Owens on his start.

* "I saw him throw a lot of breaking pitches to Mookie. The one they hit stayed up a little longer than usual. He's the kind of pitcher that, if you go up there looking for everything he's got, you're done.'' - Ortiz on his game-winning homer off Dellin Betances.

NOTES:

* Over his career, David Ortiz has hit 29 go-ahead homers from the eighth inning on.

* Ortiz has eight homers in his last 24 games against the Yankees.

* The win was the first this season for the Red Sox in a game in which they were tied or trailing after seven innings.

* The Red Sox have won five of their last six and seven of their last 10.

* The Yankees have been limited to three runs or fewer in their last six games.

* In 21 games, the Yankees have faced 10 lefty starters; in 22 games, the Red Sox have faced two.

* Masahiro Tanaka has issued just one walk in his last three starts.

STARS:

1) David Ortiz

With one swing of the bat, Ortiz untied a 2-2 game in the bottom of the eighth with a game-winning two-run homer.

2) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley's penchant for delivering a big hit continued as he rapped a two-run double to left in the seventh to erase a 2-0 Yankee lead.

3) Masahiro Tanaka

He shut the Red Sox for six innings before allowing three hits and two runs in the seventh.

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

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First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over New York Yankees...

* David Ortiz still has a flair for the dramatic.

Matched against Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, Ortiz cracked a two-run homer into the Monster Seats to snap a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning. Ortiz now has 18 RBI in 23 games -- he didn't start in four of those games - and at 40, remains the one hitter opposing teams want to face with the game on the line.

Before the homer, Ortiz was 0-for-7 against Betances, with four strikeouts.

* All things considered, Henry Owens did OK.

Owens didn't fool anybody. He couldn't command his fastball, and when the Yankees did hit it, they hit it pretty hard. He walked three and hit another. But Owens managed to limit the damage in a big way, allowing just two hits in six innings despite 10 baserunners.

Occasionally, he would get bailed out by his changeup, which seems to be the lone pitch he has that is better than average by major league standards.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to hit when it counts.

Bradley got the Red Sox offense going with a two-run, two-out double off Masahiro Tanaka, when the Sox were down to their final seven outs.

In the last week along, Bradley hit an extra-inning homer; a solo homer that represented the only run of the game; a ninth-inning triple; and Friday's big two-base hit.

That he has 10 RBI from the bottom of the order suggests he can provide some sock from that spot.

* Matt Barnes continues to make strides.

Since allowing a homer to Kevin Kiermaier on the last homestand, Barnes has allowed just one run in his last four appearances, covering 6 1/3 innings, while holding opposing hitters to a .208 batting average (5-for-24).

* The Yankees bullpen gets all the attention, but in relief of Owens, Barnes, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel faced nine hitters and retired them all.

McAdam: Gordon suspension is proof MLB testing works

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McAdam: Gordon suspension is proof MLB testing works

Kevin Millar, John Farrell and Sean McAdam talk about Dee Gordon’s 80-game suspension for PED violations.