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Red Sox option Jose Iglesias to Triple-A, clear way for Mike Aviles to be Opening Day shortstop

Mar 27, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

iglesias wide Getty Images

Jose Iglesias‘ slick fielding drew rave reviews in Red Sox camp, so much so that there was some speculation (and comments from manager Bobby Valentine) about the 22-year-old prospect winning the starting shortstop job, but today Boston sent him to Triple-A and essentially handed Mike Aviles the gig.

There’s no doubt that Iglesias’ glove is big-league ready, but he was awful offensively at Triple-A last season, hitting just .235 with a .285 on-base percentage and .269 slugging percentage in 101 games. Any projection based on those numbers would be among the worst in baseball, so it makes sense for the Red Sox to give him more time to develop while turning the position over to Aviles.

Aviles is a career .288 hitter with a .737 OPS and offers plenty of versatility defensively, but he may be stretched as an everyday shortstop and it won’t be surprising if Nick Punto works his way into the lineup some based on his superior defense. Boston is no doubt hoping that they’ll simply be keeping the position warm for Iglesias, but it all depends on him showing some semblance of hitting ability.

  1. uyf1950 - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Based on previously published reports in the media Aviles was Management/Cherington’s choice for SS and Iglesias was Bobby V’s.

    This would tend to lend some credence to the fact that Cherington and Valentine are NOT on the same page and that Management has the final say in even the most basic team decisions. At least that’s my opinion.

    • Jack Marshall - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      That’s just utter, utter, baloney. Iglesias was hitting below .200 in the spring, and Aviles had not only hit but played well in the field. The Sox have a logjam in the outfield, and weren’t going to jettison Punto or Aviles to commit to the kid. This was the obvious move to start the season, and gives Iglesias a chance to prove Bobby’s endorsement is justified by showing he can hit at AAA.

      What it DOES show is that dumping Scutaro wasn’t the brain-dead, cheap-skate move by Cherington that everyone made it out to be. Aviles is talented and versatile, and he’s not 36. The Sox are fine at short.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM

        Jack, who are you trying to convince me or yourself?

        What logjam do the Red Sox have in the outfield on opening day? From everything I’ve seen and read their outfield logjam consist of prospects with virtually no big league experience or players they they signed during the off season to platoon. One player may be a little better versus lefties than righties or the other way around or one may be better offensively then defensively. That’s hardly what I would consider a team with $180,000,000 payroll should consider a logjam. But that’s just my opinion.

      • bigharold - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        “Aviles is talented and versatile, and he’s not 36. The Sox are fine at short.”

        I don’t know about that. If you look at as replacing Scutaro with Aviles then they traded one old utility infielder for a not so old utility infielder. That hardly constitutes “.. fine at short”.

        I think Valentine was correct in that Iglasias should have been the opening day SS. I think the RS lineup could absorb his offensive short comings. His glove at SS would have been the best the RS had there in years. The problem is Iglasias not only didn’t help his case he didn’t give Valentine even enough ammunition to argue the point.

        Regardless, the RS are not “fine” at short. That’s an overstatement whenever you have a utility infielder manning SS. In this case, it’s more like their not screwed, .. which is what they would have been had they kept Scutaro.

  2. clevelandschronic2 - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Red sox blow. Cant wait to see another great collapse in aug/sept. choke artists.

    • wendell7 - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Bozo?

  3. oldpaddy - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Cherington: 1
    Bobby V: 0

    This is going to be a fun season!

  4. bbil2012 - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Mike Aviles is a good player to have on your team. But he’s Bill Hall with a higher BA, not an everyday SS.

  5. dohpey28 - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    You must be pretty bad defensively if Punto is viewed as a better defensive option.

  6. Jack Marshall - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    uyf…not trying to convince you of anything, just talking sense. The Sox need to carry five outfielders, because of the platoon. Ross and Sweeney platoon, and McDonald is on hand at least til Crawford returns. They need a utility player in Punto, and Aviles isn’t getting dumped. No room for the kid. You were reading discord into decisions that had no other options.

    Scutaro was no “utility player” …over the last three years he was better than Jeter. There’s no reason to believe Aviles can’t be a better-than-average everyday shortstop until Iglesias is ready. None at all.

    • Ray Rothfeldt - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      …except, of course, that Aviles failed to hold the starting SS job for the Royals. Not once, not twice, but three times.

      • emic13 - Mar 28, 2012 at 4:47 AM

        actually, he was the starting ss and 2b for 2008 and 2010, respectively…he hit 300 or better both times so I don’t see him as being such a liability

      • Ray Rothfeldt - Mar 28, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        If you can’t hold down a starting job for the Royals, how on earth can you be a starter for a contender?

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