Bobby V continues to talk neutrally about his players, but drops a few hints today that Jose Iglesias might be closer to his big league debut than some think.
Via Alex Speier of WEEI:
“Readiness for the big leagues? Pretty close,” Valentine said of Iglesias. “I think we’ve seen a lot. Now it will just be a determination of whether it’s his time. I think he’s played pretty well. He’s showed really good progress. We have to decide if he has enough undergraduate credentials in order to take the next step forward.”
Valentine made clear that he thinks that Iglesias has major league abilities as both a hitter and fielder. However, he noted that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the right fit for the 2012 Red Sox at the start of the season.
“I think his ability is good enough,” said Valentine. “Whether it’s his time is the question, with all the other contributing factors. Mike Aviles is doing great. There’s been a lot of guys who have been somewhere else waiting for their opportunities.
The one common thread I can see in Valentine's wishy washy comments about the players is that he's really trying not to play favorites. He seems to equally doubt and like Bard, Doubront, Miller, Aviles, Iglesias, Ross, Sweeney -- almost anyone you ask him about (except Pedroia, who probably lives in an in-law apartment at Bobby's house).
All spring I've felt like evidence was building that Iglesias would be the guy. He inspires the most breathless posting from local scribes. He provides defense we haven't seen since Alex Gonzalez, and before him, since...I don't know, probably before I was born. His bat is what it is, but with the bats Boston has, it might be enough.
The tone of Bobby's comments are starting to make me think, though, that Aviles is going to get the nod and they'll give Jose some more time at AAA. Which isn't all that bad. He certainly could use it, and I don't see them cutting or trading Aviles or Punto at this point.
Let's go to Bobby one more time for some clarification:
“Or, if there’s, again, some formula that says he needs another something. His ability is all I’m saying. I haven’t taken into consideration whatever that other stuff is, time in the classroom.”
Didn't this guy used to be on TV? He says a surprising number of unintelligible things.