Let’s Talk About Shortstops

It seems like as good a day as anyone to discuss the future of the shortstop position for the Boston Red Sox.

With the news out of the Bronx that Derek Jeter is now sidelined for the remainder of the Playoffs with a fractured ankle, it seems like as good a day as anyone to discuss the future of the Shortstop position for the Boston Red Sox.  All options are indeed better than the one who almost became Red Sox SS, he now is pinch hit for by ERIC CHAVEZ.

It is obvious from a look at any of the stats and metrics (offensively) that the Sox do not have a SS that would be all over ESPN with an injury, but they do have some internal options and prospects that could make headlines in the (hopefully near) future.

Mike Aviles:  The man who had the job out of Spring Training in 2012 and initially impressed when he came out swinging a hot bat for the first portions of the season, failed to maintain that pace and found himself hoping for at-bats in September.  He is technically the incumbent and is arbitration eligible through 2015, so one would assume he will go into next season with as good a chance as any to at least start the season at Fenway.  Aviles is not an awe inspiring name of performer, but he is steady with the glove and can put a charge in a ball or two along the way.  I look for him to ultimately be someone who finishes next season elsewhere.

Pedro Ciriaco:  For those who managed to stick with this team once the writing was on the wall, you were treated to the Pedro Ciriaco experience.  Pedro offers a good glove and great speed (plus the amazing knack to hit everything thrown from a Yankee pitcher) coupled with his ability to play multiple positions, fairs mighty well in his attempt to make the big league club when they depart from Ft. Meyers next spring. Ciriaco has the make-up to be an efficient super-utility player that can provide a spark when needed.

Jose Iglesias:  The stats on Iglesias are neither large in number or sample size, he remains the most intriguing candidate for the starters spot next season.  He may be the anti-Jeter, the boy has an amazing glove, some regard it as the best in baseball (ironic that he may not end up with more Gold Gloves than the overrated defense of Jeter).  The problem with Iglesias… No one is certain that he will ever be able to hit enough to justify keeping him in the lineup for a premier Major League ball club.  Jose should have a decent shot to make the team next season–especially if Aviles is moved.

Xander Bogaerts: Ok, I realize the kid is only 20, and has yet to be close to a Major League call up yet in his career, but if looking at Manny Machado with the Orioles excited you at all this season, you can’t help but think that Bogaerts may have a chance to show something special and become an impact player at some point next season.  Like Machado he may have to move off SS to accomplish that, but there is enough (albeit very raw) to Bogaerts to hope to see him make the leap.

Categories: Boston Red Sox Derek Jeter Jose Iglesias Manny Machado Mike Aviles Pedro Ciriaco

Native New Yorker who became a diehard Red Sox fan from a young age, now residing in South Florida. Can be found on twitter @Brandon5tewart (Yes, it's a Nomar tribute).

5 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Shortstops” Subscribe

  1. Mr Punch October 14, 2012 at 9:23 PM #

    Seems to me that from a moneyball perspective, the really underpriced commodity is defense. That being the case, Aviles simply doesn't make sense. If the Sox are trying to be disciplined, and especially if they don't expect to contend, they'll give Iglesias another shot at hitting big league pitching. He' a much better fielder than the others, and they aren't good hitters either.

    • gerry October 15, 2012 at 3:24 AM #

      Well put, and many indicators point to him adjusting. In the long term he could hit like a typical MLB Shortstop while winning games with his glove. The most obvious alternative is a trade for one of the few premier shortstops like Elvis or Tulo. But that blocks Bogaerts imminent arrival while failing to learn if Iggy can hit. It also severely limits the Sox ability to trade for Choo or Justin Upton or Ike Davis or a couple of quality SP's. In other words, it solves SS but tanks at minimum 2013. It is so logical to give Iglesias his chance. If his offense is a negative April into June, his glove will cover most of it so, over the course of the season, having been replaced, (Ciriaco, DeJesus, even Bogaerts) the negative would be minimal. The Sox need his glove to start 2013. My money is on him adjusting sooner.

  2. Tim P October 15, 2012 at 5:57 PM #

    What is Iglesias' contract situation? I am under the impression his contract ends in 2013? He signed as international free agent. Does he become a free agent after 2013 or is he still under club control?

    Aviles was learning toplay the outfield before plans changed and Scutaro got traded. If Ciriaco is included in a trade package for more pitching, Aviles could serve the super-utility role you mention for Ciriaco. Aviles or Ciriaco could be valuable pieces with one of them playing SS a couple times per week (or as late inning replacement if Iglesiais is pinch hit for) as Iglesias adjusts to MLB while also providing cover at other positions. Aviles in particular hits left-handed pitching at a decent clip and might be nice to have on hand for occassional platoon advantages,

    I know one of the players acquired from the Dodgers is projected as a utility infielder, is that player an option for SS?

    • Gerry October 16, 2012 at 4:09 AM #

      You remembered right. Dejesus came from the Dodgers in the trade and may give Ciriaco and Aviles serious competition in ST for the utility role, but can't compete with Iglesias as a defensive sbortstop, nor can Ciri or Avilez. For that matter, neither can Bogaerts, which is why if Iggy sticks out of ST, Bogarts would start working out at 1B or LF, and we get two potential All Stars at their positions. That's a win, win, win. Could Bogaerts be the next in the lineage of Williams, Yaz, Rice, Manny???


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