What about Iglesias?

Sam Galanis
Contributing Writer

The question of what to do with Jose Iglesias once Will Middlebrooks is back from the disabled list is a tough one to answer because there are a lot of problems that factor into that decision. The Red Sox have been extremely successful thus far, and there really isn’t a simple solution to guarantee Iglesias a spot on the active roster.

One of the biggest problems with having Iglesias around is that in his short tenure with the Sox, he has done much better than starting shortstop Stephen Drew offensively and defensively. But as much as it should be about baseball instead of business, it’s hard to shell out $9 million for a guy and justify benching him. Obviously the Sox could just demote Pedro Ciriaco and have Iglesias as the backup shortstop instead, but is is a good idea to have Iglesias sitting instead of playing when he’s been so hot? At least in Pawtucket he’s getting more than batting practice.

AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Then there are the people who have been saying that maybe we should just trade him and get someone better who we can actually put to good use. That’s always a risky move. There’s no way of knowing if someone who was great with another team will work with your team, especially when your team is the Red Sox. At the same time, it’s hard to tell anything about Iglesias by looking at past numbers. Before this year, he played only 10 games for the Sox in 2011 and 25 in 2012. Even now he’s only played 13 games. That’s something that probably won’t come up until the end of the season when Drew’s contract runs out, but it must be kept in mind that teams have kept good, young players instead of trading them in for more reliable models and have had that work out. Just look at Manny Machado and the Orioles.

Iglesias hasn’t proved to be a real power hitter yet, but he has a gift for getting on base. There’s no denying that with his sky-high .452 on base percentage. So even though he hasn’t shown the Sox many RBI, he’s doing something just as important: being there for the other guys to get them.

So what’s the verdict? Personally, I think that once everyone is back, Ciriaco should be brought down and Iglesias should stay. It’ll be tough to watch him sit, but Iglesias is the better backup, and there isn’t exactly anywhere else to put him. As of now, he’s the Sox’s best bet for when Drew’s contract ends, that is as long as that contract isn’t extended. So if the Sox don’t keep Drew, it’ll be better for Iglesias to put in his time in the Majors.

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