Do the Drew
Before Ben Cherington announced that the Red Sox had signed Stephen Drew to a one-year, $9.5 million contract, I was boldly predicting that Jose Iglesias could win the MVP award with a combination of just enough hitting and some flashy defence. The craziest part was probably believing that the MVP voters cared enough about defensive value, see: Trout vs Cabrera 2012.
The pillow contract fashioned by Scott Boras for JD’s younger brother made it academic, Drew would be the starting shortstop and Iglesias would get some more time in the minors to work on his hitting.
I liked that thinking then, and I still do now.
However, Iglesias would be thrust into the starting role when a rogue pitch clattered the helmet of Drew, landing him on the 7 day concussion DL. Drew remained out for 26 days as he experienced post-concussion dizziness and other symptoms which made a return impossible.
Iglesias batted .450 in the short stint of games he played before being demoted as Drew made his return. This impressive average and glint of promising future potential had some questioning the decision to demote the young Cuban.
We’d been here before. Jackie Bradley and his spring average had people from far and wide calling for him to make the team. While it was a feel good story, ultimately, Bradley wasn’t able to perform at the same level once the at bats meant something. Hitting .097 after 12 games, the hype faded and Bradley was optioned to Pawtucket.
For Iglesias, hiding in plain sight was a .529 batting average on balls in play, 9 hits from 17 balls put in play, including 2 bunt singles and an infield hit, is typically the definition of unsustainable. Iglesias is hitting .223 in 26 games for Pawtucket.
Drew did not get off to a hot start suggesting the lack of spring training repetitions had a negative effect. This lack of initial production inevitably, and unfairly, drawing irate comparisons to his older brother JD, who I also thought was unfairly criticised in his time with Boston.
Young Drew has, in fact, begun to carve out a story of his own featuring walk off hits and grand slams, but it’s likely to be a fleeting affiliation. Another notch in the bedpost that is the Red Sox shortstop position, another ultimately unfulfilling relationship while all we want is someone who is just like Nomar.