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BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine had a “real emotional” meeting with Jose Iglesias Tuesday morning, informing the shortstop he was being sent to Triple-A Pawtucket to start the season.
Although Iglesias’ recent struggles at the plate played a part in the choice, Valentine eventually sees the 22-year-old making some noise in the big leagues.
“It was not a tough decision,” Valentine said Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Gordon Edes. “Eventually things play themselves out, and it’s easy to do the right thing.”
“It’s always difficult to hear the news but I think they know what they’re doing, what’s best for my development, for my career, and we’ll see what happens next,” Iglesias said of the move.
Valentine and General Manager Ben Cherington made the call to send Iglesias back to the minors on Monday night. Iglesias started Spring Training with hopes to land on the opening day roster, but after batting .200 for the spring, the club feels more consistent playing time, and at bats, in Pawtucket will be the best medicine.
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“He needs to work a little more on the consistency of his swing and play,” said Valentine. “He’s been working on things and about two weeks ago he had a mechanic that looked like it was real functional. I think an 0-for-3 took him out of it. That’s one of the things he has to develop, a confidence in his program.”
Confidence was one thing Valentine saw leave Iglesias’ game as of late.
“I don’t stop believing in a player until I see him stop believing in himself,” he said. “(Iglesias) came into the dugout with a look of wondering that I don’t like to see. This is not the time to be searching. You have to go into the season not searching.”
While there are reports of a possible power struggle between Valentine and Cherington, something Valentine said was “lazy reporting”, the new Sox manager said the decision to send Iglesias down (a move many felt Valentine opposed) is something he is on board with.
“Totally,” he said. “I like to think it was partially my decision.”
With Iglesias in the minors, Boston will go with Mike Aviles as their starting shortstop with Nick Punto backing him up.