Ben: Iglesias smart to train with Pedroia

December, 13, 2012
12/13/12
8:44
PM ET
BOSTON -- Red Sox rookie shortstop Jose Iglesias hit his first major league home run against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sept. 20, 2012, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Red Sox lost that game 7-4 and the club returned to Boston that night in preparation for a four-game homestand at Fenway Park. The following day, Red Sox veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia was sitting in the dugout when Iglesias strutted by, proud of his accomplishment the night before.

Someone congratulated the 22-year-old for his first homer, but before Iglesias could even respond, Pedroia interceded and asked the rookie: "Did we win?"

Iglesias smiled nervously, knowing exactly what Pedroia meant.

"You've got a long way to go, kid," Pedroia said.

Truth be told, Pedroia realizes the impact Iglesias could have in Boston. Iglesias' defense is off the charts. His offense needs to improve drastically, and his work ethic does, too.

That's why Pedroia invited Iglesias to work out with him in Arizona. The two began working out on Monday and Red Sox GM Ben Cherington is pleased with the rookie's decision to train with Pedroia in Arizona.

"Well, I think anytime a young player can be around Pedroia that's a benefit to the young player," explained Cherington. "Obviously those guys have gotten to know each other a little bit from playing, and the guy Pedey's playing with at shortstop is important to him.

"He wants to know that guy's style, tendencies and he cares about it. He cares about the team. He cares about the guys that he's playing with and he wants to help young players understand what it takes to play here and do well. It was important to Pedroia and I'm sure Iglesias will get something out of it."

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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