With Drew’s Return Nearing, Iglesias Making Most Of Opportunity
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BOSTON (CBS) – For a guy that isn’t supposed to hit, Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias is making the most out of an early-season opportunity.
The slick fielding shortstop racked up two more hits in Wednesday night’s 7-4 win over the Yankees, a double and a single, and is now 5-for-9 in place of the injured Stephen Drew.
Iglesias told reporters after his two-hit night he is seeing the ball a lot better, and is feeling much more confident at the plate than last season — when he hit just .118 in 68 at-bats.
“No doubt I feel pretty good,” Iglesias said after Wednesday’s win. “I know what I have to do to help this team like move runners and get on base. I’ve felt good all spring and now in the first two games of the season, so I think I have my confidence back. That’s a good thing.”
With Iglesias’ stellar defense also making a difference in the field, the 23-year-0ld is contributing in all aspects of the game.
“He’s been in the middle of a lot of things both defensively and offensively,” manager John Farrell said. “I think he had something to prove after Stephen was signed, and here the opening comes because of the concussion, and he’s done a heck of a job.”
Despite his early season success, Iglesias’ time as the Red Sox starting shortstop may be coming to an end soon. Drew, out with a concussion, will begin a rehab assignment in Double-A Portland on Thursday and is on schedule to return for Monday’s home opener.
When asked about Drew and Iglesias, Farrell made it pretty clear what the team’s plans when Drew returns.
“We’re not going to take away from what Jose has done, but we signed a premium shortstop in the and we’re not going look at an injury to cause him to lose his job,” he said.
So once Drew is back, Iglesias will return to his backup role. His long-term future with the team is also in question, with Xander Bogaerts turning heads this spring and expected to be the shortstop of the future — a role Iglesias had just two years ago.
But for now, with the opportunity at hand, Iglesias will continue to take advantage. Everyone knew how good his glove is, and now he’s making a case with his bat.