Surprised, excited Iglesias makes big-league debut

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Surprised, excited Iglesias makes big-league debut

By Maureen Mullen and Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- It was quite a day for Jose Iglesias, the phenom shortstop from Cuba whom the Red Sox signed as an international free agent less than two years ago.

With Marco Scutaro (oblique strain) placed on the disabled list, the Sox recalled Iglesias from Pawtucket. And he made his major-league debut on his first day, playing the ninth inning as a defensive replacement for Jed Lowrie in Boston's 9-5 win over the Twins.

I though the timing was good, said manager Terry Francona. Let him get out there, let him get some nerves out of the way and let him be part of what were doing. It worked out well.

Scutaro tried to ease those nerves by playing a prank on Iglesias just before he was put into the game. He hid the youngsters glove behind the camera man.

Iglesias could do nothing but laugh afterwards, and said he enjoyed the moment.

For me, its a huge thrill and an honor to be playing here, said Iglesias. Especially at such a young age.

Iglesias arrival in the big leagues is ahead of schedule. Yamaico Navarro, who appeared in 20 games for the Red Sox last season, would have gotten the call but was placed on the DL last week with an oblique strain.

We talked to Iglesias a little bit this morning, Francona said before the game. I think we all think hes got a really bright future here. I dont think right now is his time to be starting at shortstop . . . Let him learn the atmosphere, whats expected of him. Hopefully itll be real good for his development.

While his primary position is shortstop, Francona said Iglesias could play other positions as well.

I think so. I hope so, he said. I know he played third in the Arizona Fall League. His hands are good enough to be anywhere and his instincts. Infield coach Tim Bogar will get him out there and move him around a little bit. The one thing you dont want to do is put him in a situation where hes uncomfortable. I think hed probably be okay anywhere.

Iglesias was surprised when he got the call Saturday night from Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler that he was going to Boston.

It wasnt something that I was expecting, he said. I just got a call after the game from Arnie . . . and they gave me the news. So it came as a shock.

Although his English is very good, Iglesias spoke through Eddie Romero, the teams assistant director of Latin American operations, with the media.

Very glad, very appreciative of being given the opportunity to help out this team here in Boston, he said.

Its obviously a very special day for me but even more so being Mothers Day. I get to share it with a lot of Moms out there. But its a tremendous thrill for me to be here and well see what happens.

Iglesias tried to call his mother in Cuba before the game to tell her the news, but was unable to get through. He expected to see his wife, his infant son and his father, all of whom are in Pawtucket, after the game.

A defensive whiz, he was hitting .253 (22-for-87) with four RBI, 17 strikeouts, and two walks, for Pawtucket when he was called up.

Mike Cameron greeted Iglesias, saying Hey, caballito little horse. Iglesias is familiar with his teammates from being in the organization for almost two seasons and being in spring training for two years.

Its like a family here, he said. Ive been around and I know most of these guys pretty well through spring training. So theres no level of discomfort here. I feel very comfortable with all the guys in the clubhouse.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

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Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK - There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."