By now, everyone knows (or should know) that Jose Iglesias, Red Sox top prospect and “shortstop of the future,” has been added to the 25-man roster as a replacement for the injured Marco Scutaro. My feelings on the subject are mixed, and it appears that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Matt Kory of our fellow Red Sox blog, Red Sox Beacon, had some words to share on the subject.
“It can (be) exciting when a top prospect comes up for the first time and fans can see part of the franchise’ future at the present hour. Today the excitement begins anew, or so it seems, as Marco Scutaro‘s as yet unnamed injury has brought top prospect Jose Iglesias up I-95 to Boston. As of this writing the nature of Scutaro’s injury has not been released but numerous reports are saying Scutaro will have to go on the Disabled List and Iglesias will be the player called up to take his place. The Red Sox likely would have called up Yamaico Navarro, who is hitting a very impressive .329/.436/.612 in AAA, instead, but he suffered an oblique strain last Tuesday and had to be placed on the disabled list.”
I agree with Matt wholeheartedly. It’s very exciting to see a top prospect finally make it to the big leagues; especially one as highly touted as Iglesias. As someone who hasn’t had a chance to see his defensive wizardry up close, I’m looking forward to that opportunity with great anticipation.
Still, as I mentioned this past Friday, I think both parties would be best served by allowing Iglesias to continue to develop offensively in the minor leagues over the next couple of seasons, while Jed Lowrie soaks up the plate appearances. As brilliant as Iglesias is supposed to be defensively, it’s very unlikely he’ll be able to produce enough with the glove to justify having his bat in the lineup. (Well, at least for the time being.) Furthermore, given the small amount of playing time he’ll receive, the promotion is almost counter-productive. Rather than playing everyday for Pawtucket, he’ll mostly be riding the bench for Boston. Clearly, this isn’t the way the Red Sox envisioned Iglesias’s 2011 development curve.
So why are they bringing him up now? As Matt explained in his piece, it’s mostly out of necessity. The Red Sox likely would have preferred to promote Yamaico Navarro, but couldn’t due to an oblique injury he sustained that required him to be placed on the disabled list early last week. Being the next guy on the depth chart, the Red Sox had little choice but to turn to Iglesias to fill the role as the back-up to Lowrie. Really, Navarro’s injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. He was hitting out of his mind (.329/.432/.612) before his injury, and a promotion would’ve allowed the Red Sox to showcase Navarro’s talents in hopes of later spinning him off as a second or third prospect in a deadline deal. Instead, it turns out to be a lost opportunity for both parties.
Luckily, it appears Scutaro’s injury is pretty minor, so Iglesias should be back playing every day for Pawtucket within a couple of weeks.