Thursday, April 4, 2013
Takeaways: Iggy on borrowed time
By Gordon Edes
NEW YORK -- A couple of takeaways from the Bronx, on a night that Jackie Bradley Jr. collected his first big-league hit, Mike Napoli beat out an infield roller for his first Red Sox hit, and Joel Hanrahan registered his first save as Sox closer:
* Shortstop Jose Iglesias had two more hits Wednesday, a double and a single, to go along with the two infield hits and a bunt single he had in Monday’s opener. His defense has been flawless.
“He’s been in the middle of a lot of things both defensively and offensively,’’ manager John Farrell said after Wednesday’s 7-4 win over the Yankees.
Jose Iglesias got two more hits, but that may not keep him in the majors after Stephen Drew is ready.
“We talked in spring training. I think he had something to prove after Stephen [Drew] was signed, and here the opening comes because of the concussion, and he’s done a heck of a job.’’
That said, Iglesias is a short-timer, assuming that Drew stays on course to return for Monday’s home opener, the target the Sox are hoping for. He begins a rehab assignment Thursday night in Double-A Portland.
“We’re certainly not going to take away from what Jose’s done,’’ Farrell said, “but we signed a premium guy in the offseason to be our starting shortstop. We’re not going to look at an injury to cause him to lose his job.’’
Iglesias said he has not been told what the Sox are planning for him when Drew returns, nor was he inclined to speculate on GM Ben Cherington’s intentions.
“I don’t know,’’ he said. “That’s Ben’s job. That’s not my job. My job is to come back tomorrow and help us win another game.’’
Iglesias also deflected a question about, off the spring he had and this week’s strong start, whether he felt he belonged in the big leagues.
“I can tell you that it is fun to be here,’’ he said. “That’s all I can say.’’
* Clay Buchholz gave up five or more runs in each of his first six starts last season. It wasn’t until his 12th start, on June 7, that he gave up as few as one run, which is what he held the Yankees to in seven innings on Wednesday night. The only run Buchholz gave up was on a two-out home run by Travis Hafner in the fourth, with the Sox ahead 6-0. He struck out four and walked two.
“I think he continued tonight what he’s been doing all spring training,’’ Farrell said. “He threw some good two-seamers to lefties to finish them off. I thought that he had four pitches for strikes tonight, particularly his changeup against right-handed hitters. And again, I think the biggest thing was his overall efficiency.’’
Said Buchholz: “Good to get off on the right foot to start the year.’’
* It was 43 degrees at game time, as cold a night as Buchholz could recall pitching on, and players on both teams were wearing ski masks. Yet after the game, Iglesias, who was blowing on his hands even though he wore gloves, ate an ice cream bar at his locker. “It wasn’t that bad,’’ he said.