On June 10, 1852, Benjamin Franklin boldly proved his theory of electricity. Also on this date, Boston Red Sox skipper John Farrell benched electric infielder Jose Iglesias.
In Iglesias’ place: Will Middlebrooks, who returned from the disabled list to reclaim his third base spot.
Farrell’s move on this front is completely understandable. Middlebrooks is a budding star (regardless of the fact he is hovering near.200 so far this season).
But benching Iglesias for Stephen Drew?
Has anyone seen Drew’s stats this season?
Through 51 games, Drew is batting .232 (41-for-177) with five home runs and 26 RBI.
Give Drew credit. He is a terrific defender. Drew’s .995 fielding percentage is second best in the majors, behind Troy Tulowitzki. He has committed just one error in 205 total chances (also per ESPN).
But come on. Iglesias has been on fire for the Red Sox since getting his first real shot at playing full time.
Granted, Iglesias’ sample of play is pretty small, because this 23-year-old Cuban defector has played in just 22 games.
Still, Iglesias is batting a scorching .446 (33-for-74) with seven doubles and seven RBI. His OBP/SLG/OPS is a very solid .494/.581/1.075.
To put things in perspective, Iglesias could go hitless in his next 26-at bats and still hit .330 in his first 100 at-bats.
Defensively, Iglesias has played at three different positions (2B/SS/3B) this season and has yet to commit an error (in 63 total chances).
Again, while a small sample, fans can’t hold this against Iglesias. Farrell should be finding creative ways to get this star in the making into the Red Sox lineup every night going forward.
So what gives? Why does Drew continue to get the nod over Iglesias?
Personally, I believe that despite Drew’s poor performance at the plate, Farrell will continue to go with Drew, despite growing clamor in Red Sox nation for Ben Cherington and Co. to stop pussyfooting around with Iglesias’ future.
The bottom line is that Drew will need all the chances he can get the next few months. Because if the resolute Iglesias continues to hit the ball the way he has lately, Drew may very well land on the trading block come July.