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.

McAdam: Red Sox relievers didn’t do the job vs. Toronto

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McAdam: Red Sox relievers didn’t do the job vs. Toronto

Sean McAdam joins SNC to discuss the Red Sox bullpen giving up a 4-run lead in the late innings of their loss to the Blue Jays.

Watch the video above.

Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays

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Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays

Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 10-9 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays…

1) Toronto’s offense can never be taken lightly.

Coming into the series, the Blue Jays had scored 197 runs, putting them in the middle of the pack among all Major League teams and averaging four runs per game. In the two games against Boston, they’ve scored 17 runs.

So an offense that had appeared to be dormant has been woken up thanks to some subpar Red Sox pitching.

It seems like these two teams are very similar and could be in opposite positions just as easily. The Blue Jays are only three behind in the win column (five in the loss), so Boston needs to win David Price’s Sunday start to widen the gap and cut their three-game skid.

2) Craig Kimbrel is only effective for so long.

Boston’s closer wasn’t giving excuses following Saturday’s game -- and this isn’t one either.

Saturday’s 39-pitch performance wasn’t just his season-high, but his career high in pitches.

This not only resulted in a drop in Kimbrel’s velocity, but it exposed flaws in the Red Sox’ pen. Kimbrel is truly a one-inning guy, so if Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara can’t get him the ball, he’s useless.

And it seems like Uehara won’t be used on back-to-back days frequently in the near future, so Boston won’t be able to use Tazawa in a seventh inning role with much consistency.

Somewhere along the way Dave Dombrowski will need to find another reliever for the back-end of the bullpen.

3) Offense can only take a team so far.

Both teams had big offensive days, in large part because pitchers from both sides made a lot of mistakes -- but they still took advantage of them.

Had the Red Sox been the home team in this contest, there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t have won -- just based on the progression of the game and ignoring any statistical splits.

If the Red Sox are serious about making the postseason, they need pitching to pick up the slack once in a while. Because when they hit the road late in the year, games like will slip away when quality pitching is lacking.

Quotes, notes and stars: 'Unfortunate situation at a key moment'

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Quotes, notes and stars: 'Unfortunate situation at a key moment'

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays:
 
QUOTES
*“We’ve seen Hanley [Ramirez] catch that ball multiple times...An unfortunate situation at a key moment.” John Farrell said of the final play of the game.
 
*As soon as I let it go I thought he was out...I feel like that game kind of slipped away from us.” -Travis Shaw said of his throw in the final play of the game.
 
*“Everybody was so excited on the bench. We’d lost the lead and to have him come through in that situation . . . It was huge.” -Hanley Ramirez on David Ortiz’s go-ahead homerun in the ninth inning.
 
*“We’re a strike away on a number of occasions . . . you watch the attack plan all day long right-handers with curveballs were having success against [Justin] Smoak.” -Farrell said of the bullpen’s performance and Smoak’s ninth inning hit off Craig Kimbrel.
 
*“If he makes an accurate throw he’s out.” -Farrell on Christian Vazquez’s errant throw in the ninth inning.
 
*“In some key spots we gave an extra 90 feet when otherwise we have not of late.” -Farrell said about Boston’s inability to execute late in the game.

NOTES
*Xander Bogaerts has hit safely in his last 21 games, extending his streak with a home run to lead off the fourth inning. He’s hitting .402 with five home runs during the streak. Bogaerts logged his ninth three-hit game of 2016.
 
* Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to five games with his first-inning double. Pedroia has also hit safely in his past 22 games against Toronto. He’s hitting .444 during the short streak.
 
*David Ortiz extended his own hitting streak to six games with a double in the fourth. He's hitting .520 over that span.
 
* Russell Martin logged his fifth multi-hit game of the season -- and first three-hit game -- smacking a double and a home run. Martin entered the game batting .179 with three extra-base hits.
 
 
STARS
1) Russell Martin

Not only did he score the winning run, but he also tied the score in the ninth and launched a home run earlier in the game.
 
2) Xander Bogaerts
Another threre-hit performance, extending his hitting streak to 21 games, Bogaerts keeps creating headaches for opposing pitchers.
 
3) Rick Porcello
On a day where pitchers from both side scuffled, Porcello’s 6 2/3-inning effort gave Boston more than enough of a chance to win.