Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The knock on Jose Iglesias has been that he is all glove and no bat. Performances like the one he showed in Thursday’s 9-3 loss to the Cardinals, while not completely erasing those kinds of reports, are at least helping to dispel them.
“I think the other at-bats, as well,” Valentine said. “He didn’t get results out of his second and third at-bat, a fly ball [to center field] and a line drive that he hit, wind was blowing in. But he took the first pitch [in the eighth], bases loaded and he got another fastball in and really nice swing. He’s really been staying close to being decent.”
Asked who Iglesias compares to, Beckett replied:
“I played with Alex Gonzalez for about seven years. He was pretty good. I haven’t seen Jose enough. I know I saw Alex Gonzalez for a long time. He was pretty good, pretty special.
“Yeah, [Iglesias is] really, really good.”
“He’s erasing some of the preseason reports,” Valentine said. “Trying to erase them. Hasn’t erased them yet.”
Regardless of whether or not Jose starts the year in Pawtucket or Boston, this is a great building block. His confidence has to be sky-high right now, and as a young prospect who's struggled a bit, a confidence boost may be all he needs to turn the corner.
I'm a huge fan of Jose Iglesias, which some people (like Chuck) think is absurd since the kid hasn't even been decent in the minors yet. But what excites me about him is the thought of having that slick-fielding shortstop making multiple highlight reel plays every afternoon. How much fun did we have watching Pokey Reese diving around in the dirt? And he was Pokey Reese! To be able to watch someone who is constantly compared to Rey Ordonez and Ozzie Smith? Sign me up.
Jose still has a long way to go if he wants to start the season in Boston. And as it's been stated ad nauseum, playing out another year in Pawtucket is probably best for Jose.
But all you can ask of him at this point is to do exactly what he's doing: improve upon his weaknesses (mainly hitting) and continue making solid plays in the field. If he can keep that up, he'll be in Boston soon enough.
On Page 2, McClure is changing things a bit
“I’ve always believed pitchers need 30, 35 innings going into the season,’’ said pitching coach Bob McClure after the Red Sox’ 9-3 loss to the Cardinals yesterday. “With the way spring training is now, a lot of guys are getting only 20, 22 innings, and they come out the first part of the season and they’re horrible.’’
Josh Beckett pitched three scoreless innings yesterday and will pitch on another three days of rest on Monday. After that start, where he should go four innings, McClure, who used this plan with the Royals, will have him and the other starters revert to the normal five-day routine before they have their first five-inning stint.
“Normally we’ve come out of it healthier and we’ve come out of it with an extra start, so we can back off on the last one if we want,’’ said McClure. “Healthwise, I’ve found that we’ve been coming out of it healthier and they were a little bit more accurate and sharper.’’
Anything McClure can do to help the Sox pitchers have a decent start, I'm on board with.
And if it helps the pitchers come out of Spring Training "healthier", well, that's a welcome change too.
We haven't heard too much about McClure yet, but what we have heard is infinitely better than what Curt Young was up to when he took over the staff. In case you've forgotten: "In spring training, he was understandably stepping back a little bit, especially with some of the veterans because they’re used to what they’re doing,” Francona said.
That McClure has ANY plan is already streets ahead of the Curt Young era.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Cuts run deep | CSNNE - Valentine: Doubront is 'a pretty good pitcher' | Globe - JetBlue's 'Monster' has its own quirks for scorekeeper | Wakefield, Fenway Park focus of new films | WEEI - While you were watching Jose Iglesias, you might have missed Mike Aviles | Iglesias impresses in Sox' loss to Cards | ESPN - Beckett impressed by Iglesias