This morning the Red Sox made a final decision on how they will approach the Jose Iglesias situation this season by optioning him to Triple A Pawtucket to start the season.The decision should not come as a surprise to most people as his hitting in spring training continued to make him a liability at the plate had he gained the starting role on the big club. (.200 average, .286 OBP, .280 Slugging % and .566 OPS in 25 spring at-bats). Mike Aviles, on the other hand is hitting .333 with a .333 OBP, .533 Slugging %, .867 OPS and eight extra-base hits.
Ever since Iglesias came into the average fan’s consciousness, they have been clamoring to see the young short stop show off his moves in the field. However, this is the right move by the organization regardless of who actually made the final call. Since Nomar was traded mid-season in 2004, people have been looking for some sort of stability at the short stop position and feel that Iglesias can be a set piece there for many years to come. For that to be true, he will need to get a decent feel at the plate. Iglesias will not need to hit .300 every year, but needs to get the average to around the .240 mark for me (and the Red Sox) to feel comfortable with him in the every day line up.
Iglesias commented on the news also, “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. It was a tough decision for everybody but I think they know what’s going on and they’re making the decision to send me to Triple-A to get some AB’s and that’s what they think, and I agree with it.”
It seems that Iglesias understands the situation and knows what he needs to do to get the call back to the majors. Hopefully this will put a chip on his shoulder and spark something at the plate in the early part of the season. And why do people assume Mike Aviles doesn’t even own a glove? He will be a suitable SS for the time being.
-Lars Anderson was also optioned to Triple-A.
-Thanks to WEEI.com for the spring training stats and Iglesias quote.