BOSTON — The idea of keeping a $9.5 million shortstop on the bench seems absurd.
But sending red-hot 23-year-old Jose Iglesias to Triple-A Pawtucket might be more absurd.
That’s the pickle as Stephen Drew, who received a one-year, $9.5 million contract from Boston this past offseason, is expected to return from his concussion today when the Red Sox play the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
Iglesias, who received a large ovation on Opening Day at Fenway, is young, energetic, confident and playing well. He also may be headed to the minors to make room for Drew.
His incredible defense — and his improving offense for the first time in his major league career — is helping the Red Sox win. And shouldn’t the Red Sox do what’s best for the team right now despite monetary issues? After all, that’s what they did by putting Jackie Bradley Jr. on the Opening Day roster.
Iglesias’ glove work has been impressive, and he is part of a defense that hasn’t made an error in all seven games. In his 20 at-bats so far, he has nine hits (.450 batting average), two doubles and a .476 on-base percentage.
Sure, five of Iglesias’ nine hits have been infield singles. Sure, he hasn’t walked yet. He’s not a power hitter or potential .300 hitter for that matter. He probably will be about a .255-.260 hitter when he reaches his full potential. But he is getting on base in his own way with speed right now and playing great defense.
Everybody in the Red Sox organization has been waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting some more) for Iglesias to show some potential as a hitter in the big leagues.
So why now when he’s showing a glimpse of it and helping Boston win should he be sent down?