FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jose Iglesias’ shin problems aren’t shocking to Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Iglesias, who reportedly might miss most of the 2014 season, apparently experienced shin issues while with the Red Sox before being traded to the Detroit Tigers last July, although the shortstop’s situation clearly wasn’t as severe as the one he currently faces.
“Aware from the extent that we had to monitor it,” Farrell told reporters Sunday when asked of his awareness of Iglesias’ ailment. “There were some games where we had to get him off his feet because he felt some pain and some soreness there. But to see what’s come out now with the report, I feel sorry for the kid. He’s an exciting player. Any time you see a player have to deal with an injury and miss time, you hate to see it. He’s fun to watch. He was a great kid to have on the team, fun to be around. Unfortunately, he’s going to miss what looks to be a substantial amount of time.”
Iglesias is known for his defensive prowess, but the slick-fielding shortstop significantly improved offensively last season, particularly at the beginning of the year, before being shipped to Detroit as part of the trade that sent Jake Peavy to Boston.
“When he came here, recall, he had a lot of mannerisms of Alex Rodriguez in the box, his setup, the swing, the elbow pad, all the things there,” Farrell said. “I think that’s a guy he idolizes as a hitter and then he understood and tried to work the whole field a little bit more in the minor leagues.
“And then when he came back last year, we talked about it many times, he got back to a very aggressive approach. But through that learning curve in the minor leagues, he also had a pretty good two-strike approach where he didn’t strike out. He fought some pitches off and went the other way. You see some similarities (with Red Sox shortstop prospect Deven Marrero).”
Iglesias hit .303 in 109 regular-season games in 2013. The Tigers certainly have a big hole to fill with him sidelined, so perhaps another former Red Sox shortstop, Stephen Drew, will become an option for Detroit in free agency.