Found February 25, 2012 on
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
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The conventional wisdom is that Valentine has a choice: Either send Iglesias to the minors to improve his offensive skills, or take advantage of his superior defensive skills by making him the Opening Day shortstop, even though he’ll likely struggle at the dish.
But Valentine made a startling observation yesterday when he said that it’s not a question of Iglesias improving his hitting. Rather, it’s a case of throwing out the kid’s old hitting style and starting over again.
Or to be more precise, getting Iglesias to stop copying the swing of the guy he was working out with in Miami before spring training last year.
That player was . . . Alex Rodriguez.
“What we’ve identified with him is that he’s always been a guy who tried to imitate players rather than try to be himself, and he was going away from what worked for him,” Magadan said. “We’re trying to get him back to the kind of set-up approach that he had when we first signed him. (Minor league hitting coach) Victor Rodriguez has done a great job kind of getting him to buy into that.”
Herald - Jose Iglesias needs reboot
This is equally bad and good news. I'm thrilled that there's a logical reason why Iglesias suddenly couldn't hit. I understand trying to be A-Rod in an attempt to duplicate his success. But it simply doesn't work like that. It's cute when you're in Little League and you want to mimic Tony Bautista's crazy open stance. It's another thing to do it when you're trying to make a big league roster.
The flip side is that Iglesias' swing is going to have to be completely re-worked. And if he's spent his baseball life always trying to imitate other players (as Magadan suggests), Iglesias may not know what is natural for him. It's not something the hitting coaches are going to be able to fix in a couple weeks. This is going to be a long process.
Ideally, Iglesias is going to get some more time in AAA to get comfortable at the plate. But Valentine isn't dismissing his chances at starting the season with Boston. Bobby compared Jose to Rey Ordonez (who could never hit) and Ozzie Smith (who struggled at the plate his first few seasons), stating, "It’s whether you can play at the major league level. I don’t think it’s just about hitting."
The Red Sox offense is going to be fine regardless of the man playing short. I have no doubt that they can carry a .200 hitter. It may be frustrating, but they can do it. Whether that's the best thing for the club, or Jose, is the question Bobby has to answer. And while I'd love to watch a full season of Iglesias in the majors, it's probably best for all involved if he stays down for a while.
You know, to get all that A-Rod out of his system.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Andrew Miller’s chances truly Young at heart | Manny Ramirez says he’s just happy to be with Athletics | Catch Bobby Valentine’s drift | Globe - This Chris Carpenter has something to prove | Critical error | Motivational interior decorating for the Red Sox | WEEI - Trags Bag: What the Red Sox need from David Ortiz | Pedroia: 'Whatever [Braun] says I believe' | ESPN - Video: One-on-one with David Ortiz
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