No matter how you shape it, Jose Iglesias just isn’t cutting it.
The Boston Red Sox's former top prospect has been given several opportunities to improve his offensive abilities—which have lacked in the past—and he continues to fail.
It appeared that, with the departure of Mike Aviles—who was the primary starting shortstop in Boston last season—Iglesias was finally going to be the starter. But that didn’t happen, even though we heard all about how hard he worked over the offseason with second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
The Red Sox signed Stephen Drew to a one-year deal this past winter and took Iglesias out of contention. But then he started showing everyone that his hard work was paying off, as he got off to a fantastic start in spring training.
In Iglesias’ first five games of the spring, he went 4-for-13 with two extra-base hits (one of them was a home run) and five RBI. No one would’ve thought that he was going to hit .308/.308/.615 no matter how small of a sample size was on the table.
Once March started, Igelsias cooled off. He did go 2-for-5 in his first two games of the month with a pair of doubles, but he hasn’t gotten a hit since March 4 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Everyone has their ups and downs during spring training. That’s the main point of even having spring training. It’s meant to help players work out the kinks early on and to give them the opportunity to prepare for the long 162-game season ahead.
But what’s important to note during Iglesias’ recent four-game slump is that Drew hasn’t even been in the picture.
On March 7, Drew was hit by a pitch in the helmet and was later diagnosed with a mild concussion, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. He hasn’t played since that game against the Minnesota Twins, and it doesn’t appear that his symptoms have improved.
On Thursday, Abraham reported that Drew is still experiencing symptoms from the concussion and has not been cleared to play yet. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald added that he will undergo mandatory testing to see where he is in his progression. I presume that Drew will be sidelined for at least the next handful of games, if not more.
This has been the perfect opportunity for Igelsias to show the coaching staff and front office that he’s ready to step up to plate. But since Drew has been out, he hasn’t done anything that screams, “I’m ready!”
When Iglesias was riding his hot streak, I examined what could happen if he continued to impress, including whether Boston would send him back to the minor leagues, sell high on him or even trade Drew. Of the people that voted in one of my polls, 79.9 percent said that Iglesias would start the season in Triple-A Pawtucket no matter what happened this spring.
Now, that seems like a certainty.
Iglesias is still in big league camp for the moment, and he will continue to see time until Drew is healthy enough to take the field again. But for the spring, he is now hitting .214/.267/.429 with four extra-base hits, no walks and four strikeouts. That’s just not going to cut it.
This spring has been no different than any of the previous two. It was another chance for Iglesias to strut his stuff, but for the third-straight time another chance went down the drain.