Jose Iglesias Is Who He Is

Jose Iglesias is making a case this July that he is still Jose Iglesias. It is time to face reality, and turn him into some pitching.

With C.C. Sabathia on the mound, Jose Iglesias dropped a cheeky bunt that landed between Robinson Cano, Lyle Overbay, and C.C. It was, no doubt, a brilliant bunt that was perfectly placed. It was also indicative of who Jose Iglesias is as a hitter. On a night when C.C. did not have his best stuff (5 IP, 7 ER), the only time that Iglesias got on base all night (in 11 innings!) was on the bunt. Other than that, Iglesias found himself in two strike counts every other at bat of the evening (usually 0-2 after 2 pitches).

Sunday night is a game that is easy to pick on, but Iglesias is now .237/.292/.254 for the month of July. That is a terrible sample size with an arbitrary end point, but with only 54 starts in the Major Leagues this year, everything about Iglesias is an arbitrary end point with a small sample. Sadly, the July slash line looks a lot like the projections of both scouts and prognosticators. It would be hopeful to call this an inevitable slump, but Iglesias is a career .257/.307/.314 hitter in the Minors (against Minor League pitchers, obviously), he was not going to suddenly turn into a .350 OBP player in the majors.

So where do the Red Sox go from here? Will Middlebrooks is hitting .254/.309/.456 in Pawtucket, so he is no knight in shinging armor. Xander Bogaerts is not yet ready, most likely (and that is not even mentioning the same contractual issues on the back end of his six years of club control that concerned us so deeply in regards to Jackie Bradley just 3-4 months ago). He is, however, hitting  252/.360/.454 in Pawtucket and comes with the most upside of any of the options.

Jose Iglesias will play solid defense at third were we to keep him there, but this July line is simply who he is. We cannot expect more, anything above the line he has given us this month is just gravy.

How about this scenario – what if the Red Sox played off of Iglesias playing the best he possibly can, and move him as a part of a deal for Jake Peavy. Most sources seem to believe Peavy is available. Peavy is a solid #3/#4 pitcher and signed to reasonable, short-term contract. His numbers have been solid in a launching pad of a home stadium (U.S. Cellular Field) with a horrific defense behind him.

Enter Iglesias, if nothing else he is a brilliant defender. Recently, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs suggested that the White Sox may be interested in Deven Marrero as an heir apparent for Alexi Ramirez (in that deal the concept was Marrero for Jesse Crain – I hate that trade, even though I am realistic about Marrero’s ceiling and his being blocked). Perhaps the White Sox could be tantalized by us
starting with a plus/plus defender, Iglesias, at the key defensive position as a starting point for Peavy. Surely, the Red Sox would need to sweeten the pot with the likes of Drake Britton and/or Bryce Brentz, but surely that is getting close to enough for Peavy. Then again, Kenny Williams is still working for the White Sox, and God only knows if or what their plan is…

A pic of Xander Bogaerts, just simply to make your Tuesday.
Courtesy of Sitting Still

From there, the Red Sox could play Russian Roulette at ss/3b with Middlebrooks/Drew/Bogaerts hoping that it could give the team more offense than the .220/.250/.275 Iglesias is likely to put up. Beyond that, they would get a major upgrade mid-rotation that would also solidify everything behind it, all the way through the bullpen.

Listen, I love Jose Iglesias as much as the next guy. He is scintillating in the field and that, from the shortstop position, is as exciting as triples and stolen bases. Seriously, it will be fun to have the Iglesias or Andrelton Simmons arguments for the next decade. But it may be time to be honest with ourselves and allow his offense-less game become someone else’s problem.

Personally, having Peavy in the rotation and Xander Bogaerts doing a Manny Machado impression for the rest of 2013 (before shifting Bogaerts to SS for 2014 and letting Garin Cecchini battle WMB for the 3b position) strikes me as the most prudent manner for the Red Sox front office moving forward.

Categories: Boston Red Sox Devin Marrero Garin Cecchini Jose Iglesias Will Middlebrooks Xander Bogaerts

Thinks Pedro deserved the MVP and that Justin Verlander did not, that Dwight Evans was better than Jim Rice, that Marty Barrett was a worthy choice as favorite Red Sox player when I was a child, that J.D. Drew was very good for the Olde Towne Team, that Fenway Sports group owning Liverpool is not a proper reason to support that loathsome soccer club, that Peter Gammons needs a key lock on his cell phone, still thinks that Nomar Garciaparra is better than Derek Jeter, and that, finally, there is no such thing as being completely bias-free. When not writing about or watching the Red Sox, I moonlight as a father, a husband, a pastor, a doctoral candidate, an infielder and #2 hitter on the church softball team, soccer fan, Disney pass holder, snark manufacturer, and pizza connoisseur. Free time free since 2001.

5 Responses to “Jose Iglesias Is Who He Is” Subscribe

  1. sawxfan28 July 23, 2013 at 12:25 PM #

    Why is everybody so quick to trade Bryce Brentz? He is a RH power bat that projects to have a ceiling in the range of .280/25hr/80rbi. That is exactly what this lefty heavy lineup needs.

    • BACowett July 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM #

      sawxfan28 Here’s why:
      Brentz’s 2013 at Triple-A: .272/.321/.487, 16 HR, 5.3 BB% & 23.5 K% in 324 PA
      Dayan Viciedo’s 2010 at Triple-A: .274/.308/.493, 20 HR, 3.0 BB% & 21.5 K% in 363 PA
      If there ever was a near-perfect comp for Brentz, that is it. And as of now, he’s blocked from the Red Sox OF by Ellsbury (soon to be JBJ), Victorino & Nava. Those three all play better defense, and Nava gets on base so much more that it’s almost comical.
      He’s the perfect trade chip for the Red Sox at the moment: has great power potential, the Red Sox would be dealing from a position of surplus, and he’s blocked from the majors barring injury. Probably could be the centerpiece to a trade that would net Boston a badly-needed starter.

  2. Timothy Brooks July 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM #

    Great comment. Thank you. I do not think that it is that everyone is quick to trade Brentz. It is a willingness to trade him, because there is a gap between ceiling and actuality. It Brentz hits that ceiling, great! But there is no certainty he will.

  3. Gerry July 26, 2013 at 1:03 PM #

    Not so gast on Iggy. He hit way over his, and everyone else’s head, for most of his MLB stint. He is now slumping, like a half dozen others on the team hqve ove the last few months. Why is Iggy the only one perceived as done? Give him a day off to clear his head. No, he won’t be a .400/.500/.600 hitter, but let’s see what he can be when he recovers and adjusts. IMO we still have the best defensive SS in 2014, and if he can hit a bit we would be fools to trade him. Iggy + Workman > an injury prone Peavy.

  4. Timothy Brooks July 26, 2013 at 1:16 PM #

    Gerry, the issue is not that he is past it. The issue is that this “slump” is right in line with his career Minor League numbers. Which means, in order to keep his elite defense, the Red Sox would need to employ a perpetually slumping player. Now, if the rest of the 8 is hitting well, an argument could be made that keeping Iglesias and his elite defense is worth it (I have made that argument before. I really irrationally love Iglesias). But…I love the Red Sox more. We have depth coming soon on the left side of the infield (Bogaerts, Cecchini, WMB, et. al) and Iglesias’ trade value may never be higher. That is the argument.