This is the third time this spring that I am writing about Stephen Drew and his concussion, the first two times were optimistic but now its time to realize that the likelihood of him being ready to start on Opening Day in the Bronx is highly unlikely. Drew suffered a concussion when hit in the head by a pitch almost 2 weeks ago and still has not been cleared to participate in batting practice, fielding drills and most importantly playing time. On Sunday while addressing the media manager John Farrell admitted that Drew would most likely not be ready to start on opening day, "We thought this was going to be a couple of days thing at the most and at the time he was hit, never even thought twice about it. But here we are 10 days later and we’re still in the same situation". Drews concussion symptoms are not going away but when his heart rate increases his symptoms do not worsen. If Drew is not ready to play on opening day it is time for management to start to look at other options to replace Drew.
The most likely option to start in replacement of Drew would be Jose Iglesias who has played 86 innings at short this spring, the most of anyone still with the club. The biggest question asked about Iglesias is if he will be able to hit at a major league level, he has shown the ability to field the shortstop position but has never been able to consistently hit for a good average at either the AAA or major league level. This spring Iglesias is hitting .220 but is hitting for more power and is showing improvements. He has already had 6 extra base hits in 41 at bats this spring, which compared to 3 in 68 at bats while in Boston last season is a vast improvement. Another option to play shortstop in Drew's absence is Pedro Ciriaco who played the position at times last season. Ciriaco has missed the last 3 games with back spasms and expected to not play on Monday. Ciriaco is an excellent defender and can play any position in the infield so he may be better suited to be on the bench and come in to play the field when needed. The last option to play short on opening day is Brock Holt who was acquired in the trade with Pittsburgh for Joel Hanrahan. Holt has played 21 innings at shortstop this season but has only hit .195 at the plate. The most likely scenario that will play out will be Iglesias starting at shortstop for the team on April 1st but will give way to Drew when he is cleared to return from injury. If Drew is put on the 15-day DL it would give Iglesias some extra time to improve in the majors and give him more experience against major league pitchers.
Agree, disagree with my ideas to start Iglesias comment below or tell me what you would do on twitter.