There’s no denying the defensive ability of rookie shortstop Jose Iglesias, but he drastically needs to improve his offense if he has a chance to become a full-timer at the major league level. The Red Sox have already begun to evaluate the roster, especially the shortstop position.
Farrell saw Iglesias during those games in September and has already talked to Cherington about the shortstop position.
“(Iglesias is) a good defender and showed good range, particularly to his glove side. A couple of times you saw him get the bat head out and take some aggressive swings and there were other times when he got tied up a little bit offensively,” Farrell said. “Whether it’s a matter of strength, whether it’s a matter of timing in his swing, we’ll find out more about that as we get deeper.”
In order for the 22-year-old Iglesias to remain in the everyday lineup, he’ll need to hit at least .240 because the Red Sox can’t afford to carry dead weight at the plate at the shortstop position.
If the Red Sox determine that Iglesias just isn’t ready, they probably will need to sign a free agent this winter to a short-term deal to serve as both everyday shortstop and mentor for Iglesias.
Each day, ESPN is going to be taking a peek at some key decisions the Sox need to make heading into the 2013 season. They start, of course, with everybody's favorite prospect: Jose Iglesias.
They don't come to any grand conclusion about Jose. They simply say that the Sox either need to give him the job and see what transpires, bring in a stop-gap until they're sure he's ready, or go out and try to get a superstar short stop. The superstar they offer up is Elvis Andrus, so you might as well just skip over that entire paragraph because that's not happening.
From Farrell's quote above (and, I know, you never want to read too much into a couple sentences, especially those uttered 5 months before spring), it sounds like Jose is going to get a shot to prove himself. If you read either mine or Scott's offseason option articles, we're completely onboard with this approach.
Scott and I also hold weekly Jose Iglesias fan appreciation nights where we're the only two attendees, so you may not want to read too much into that. Or you can join us. There's plenty of Jose to go around.
Despite the fact that Jose had the second lowest batting average by a non-pitcher in Sox history, as ESPN so graciously points out, you've got to see what he can do. None of his coaches have ever said that he can't hack it as a batter. Everyone sees his potential to be, at the very least, competent at the plate. I don't think we can judge anybody, including Iglesias, by the final few weeks of last season. Let's never forget what a mess that was.
Bring him in in the spring, give him the every day job, let him adjust for a bit. And if he's still struggling after a few weeks, drop him back down to Pawtucket. But at some point, you just have to let the kid play. And with expectations being as low as they're going to be, now's the time to do it.
Photo: Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Rest of the links:
Herald - Tim Bogar won't be back | Tim Lincecum could be worth gamble for Sox | Globe - Contract statuses of the Red Sox players | WEEI - There is no alternative to David Ortiz | Farrell still looking for Bobby's envelopes | CSNNE - Farrell's coaching search continues; Bogar appears out