BOSTON -- Stephen Drew is back at shortstop after sitting Saturday with what manager John Farrell described as a regular day of rest. Drew also missed two games on the team’s recent road trip but Farrell indicated that had nothing to do with this latest rest, which came in a day game after a night game and with a left-hander on the mound, the perfect time to spell someone who has the usual wear and tear.
Drew’s return thrusts Jose Iglesias back to third base for the second time since his promotion. Iglesias handled himself just fine in limited action at third on Friday, then went 3-for-4 with two runs scored Saturday as the starting shortstop.
Most players prove their worth at the minor-league level with increased production before earning a major-league promotion. Iglesias has struggled, at least at the plate, in the minors but has shown that to be a non-issue when he joins the big club. Perhaps Iglesias just needs that higher level of competition to bring out his best.
“I hate to think that the major leagues is the sole motivator in all of this but it’s clear that there’s a greater energy, greater level of consequence, a greater level of reward that comes with playing here and the one thing that Iglesias shows is a lot of self-confidence being at this level,” Farrell said.
“Whether that’s because he’s gone through the struggles of a year ago and he’s grown from those, he comes off a solid spring training, gets off to a great start. I thought he handled the decision to go back to Pawtucket as a true pro. He understood, but I think deep down it’s clear that he saw himself as a major-league player.
“The fact that he comes back here, he handles himself in a way that when he walks by you, you can sense that he believes in himself. That’s not because of trash talking or anything else, it’s just the way he goes about his actions in a secure manner.”
Iglesias enters Sunday hitting .481 (13-for-27). Six of his hits have been of the infield variety.
Mike Carp returns to left field with a right-hander on the mound for Cleveland, keeping with Farrell’s platoon at that spot with Shane Victorino on the DL and Daniel Nava serving as the everyday right fielder.
Farrell knows that Carp, Jonny Gomes and others who are in and out of the lineup have made him look good at times, and gives them all the credit for that.
“We strive to do the best we can to put guys in a position to succeed. It’s ultimately their abilities that allows them to do that,” he said. “I think that there’s been some continuity particularly with the guys on the bench so they can begin to anticipate where their spot is in the games coming up and I think that pertains directly to Jonny and Mike Carp in their roles and how they’ve been able to produce.”
Gomes threw out a runner at home and had a game-tying sacrifice fly in the sixth inning Saturday before being replaced by Carp, who doubled in the tying run and scored the go-ahead tally in the eighth.