With Kevin Youkilis battling a stiff back, the team recalled shortstop Jose Iglesias to provide extra protection in the infield. But the Red Sox haven’t placed Youkilis on the disabled list –– yet –– and plan to monitor the third baseman’s status.
To meet roster requirements, the team optioned reliever Junichi Tazawa to Pawtucket. But Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine hinted that Iglesias’ stay in Boston could be temporary.
“When you get to the big leagues, it’s not always how you plan for guys to be used,” Valentine said. “Sometimes guys get in and they never leave. Sometimes guys are planned to stay forever and they’re gone after two weeks. Let’s say [Iglesias] is here and we’ll use him. But it could be short.”
The reason is tied to Aaron Cook‘s looming decision. Since Tuesday is Cook’s opt-out deadline in his contract, the Red Sox have until midnight to promote the sinkerball specialist.
If he isn’t elevated, Cook then has 24 hours to request his release. At that point, the Red Sox would have another 48 hours to decide whether to release Cook or add him to the 25-man roster.
Before Tuesday’s game, Valentine didn’t have an update on Cook’s status. Despite the likelihood of a short stay in Boston, Iglesias said he was satisfied with the strides that he’s made at the plate in Triple-A, even though he’s only hitting .200.
“I’m very happy with my approach at the plate,” Iglesias said. “I can see the ball really well, and I’ve made some good contact. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a hole yet. I’ve put some good ABs and there’s nothing I can do after I hit it.”
Amid Iglesias’ promotion, Valentine was pleased with Tazawa’s performance. The manager mentioned that Tazawa’s demotion wasn’t predicated on his performance in the majors, but rather the options in his contract.
“He’s one of the few guys that we are allowed to move back and forth,” Valentine said. “We just had to take advantage of a unique situation where we needed another infielder here tonight.”
In 6 1/3 innings this season, Tazawa hasn’t allowed a run or issued a walk.