Valentine on Iglesias: 'Im surprised at his skills'


Valentine on Iglesias: 'Im surprised at his skills'

FORT MYERS, Fla. Shortstop Jose Iglesias is leading off the first game of Saturdays doubleheader, against Northeastern. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has not seen the defensive phenom in game activity, other than Thursdays B game against the Twins. Putting Iglesias in the top slot allows Valentine to possibly see more at-bats from Iglesias.

Just get guys who we havent seen and, like the jurys out on them, play when the game is fresh and maybe turn their third at-bat over sooner so they can get a full days work and somebody else can also get some playing time, Valentine said.

A slick-fielding shortstop, Iglesias offense has lagged behind. The organization has stressed plate discipline to Iglesias. In two minor league seasons, between Double A and Triple A, he has hit a combined .261, with 115 strikeouts and 36 walks. With Triple-A Pawtucket last season, he hit just .235 with one home run and 31 RBI, with 58 strikeouts and 21 walks.

For my money when hes a good baseball player at the major league level his offensive resume has to read more than plate discipline. He has to be able to bunt for base hits in game situations. I dont mean leading off the game and bunting for a base hit, but a man on second and no outs, he better be able to bunt for a base hit and get him over or squeeze, if necessary, if its a big run and Im not going to take his defense out of the game. Or hit and run if theres a situation that I need runners advanced and I dont want to just sacrifice a play. I think that his offense needs to be fine-tuned and then if he learns to start his swing a little sooner, so that hes not jumping at the ball I believe his discipline will be fine. I think, but well see.

He has pretty good skills. Im surprised at his skills."

I wouldnt be embarrassed playing him, making the lineup out because if he was a really skilled defensive player. But again, Ive only seen him catch grounders. I havent seen him play shortstop.

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

CBS interviewed Patriots coach Bill Belichick and 1960 Heisman winner Joe Bellino from Navy as part of its Army-Navy Game coverage Saturday.

Belichick's father, Steve, was an assistant coach at Navy when Bellino played there, and little Bill, then 7, took it all in. So much so, that 57 years later, Belichick can still diagram the 27 F Trap play that his dad used to drew up in the 1959 season for Bellino.

More from NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk here.


Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while doing some early Christmas shopping ahead of the late rush. 

*Mike Zeisberger sits down with a quartet of NHL governors and discusses a number of hot topics including the Vegas franchise and scoring around the league. 

*Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has been removed from the NHL Board of Governor’s Executive Committee amid rumors that the Canes might be a prime candidate for relocation. 

*Pierre McGuire weighs in on Connor McDavid’s war of words on the ice and Carey Price losing his mind in the crease against the New Jersey Devils. To that end, Wayne Gretzky liked seeing McDavid get a little combative at such a young age. 

*The New York Islanders signed Cal Clutterbuck to a five year contract extension, and some are skeptical it will turn out well for the Isles.

*David Pastrnak is a premier scoring threat in the league, and Scott Cullen has some details behind that. I will say this: his stock falling in the draft had less to do with his size or heaviness, and more to do with him being concussed for a long stretch of time during the year leading up to the draft. 

*The Florida Panthers are really struggling to stay positive with a 1-5-0 record since the ownership group and management decided to fire Gerard Gallant. 

*For something completely different: Baywatch stars then and now.