Jose Iglesias Might Find Role as Red Sox Utility Infielder When Will Middlebrooks Returns, John Farrell Says

Jose IglesiasWith Will Middlebrooks’ recovery going according to plan, his days on the disabled list are dwindling — as are Jose Iglesias’ innings at third.

However, the Red Sox may keep Iglesias around when Middlebrooks is back in the lineup.

Since Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day disabled list, Iglesias has taken over third base. It was expected he would return to Triple-A at the end of the 15 days, but because of his success,  manager John Farrell and his staff are considering other options that would keep him on the big-league roster.

“We haven’t ruled out that he would remain here in a utility role,” Farrell said.

It wasn’t until this May that Iglesias even practiced at third, as he typically plays shortstop. But it’s not his play at shortstop that is in question, and he has certainly fit the bill at third thus far. Farrell knows that if Iglesias is to be the utility man, he needs to see some time at second base, especially to get his pivot down.

“The one thing we’re cautious of is just the pivot on the double play,” Farrell said. “I don’t know how you can emulate that in early work or in simulated-type situations… He’s a very good middle infielder, as we know. He just hasn’t had the repetition on the pivot from the second base side.”

While he has yet to be tested at second base for the Sox — and hasn’t been since his Cuban amateur days — his offensive production has not been in question.

Iglesias has already shown a jump from last season’s numbers in his two major league stints this season. In 68 at bats in 2012, he notched only eight hits and two RBIs for an average of .118. Already this season, he has 20 hits, three RBIs and is batting .435.

Previously, Boston hesitated to keep Iglesias on-board until an everyday spot opened up.  Considering his MLB numbers are far outpacing his minor league stats (he is batting just .202 with a .262 on-base percentage in Triple-A), Farrell and his staff have started to reconsider.

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