Iglesias makes an opening splash
It was a moment Cuban defector Jose Iglesias had been thirsting for ever since the Red Sox signed him to a Major League contract last September. And then it finally happened in the bottom of the third inning of Wednesday night’s exhibition game against Boston College.
Marco Scutaro, Boston’s shortstop of the present, had just reached on an infield single. And Red Sox manager Terry Francona swiftly called on Iglesias, the team’s shortstop of the future, to pinch-run.
In what seemed like a blur, Iglesias whipped out of the dugout and relieved Scutaro. He was now playing for the Boston Red Sox, even if it was only an exhibition game. For Iglesias, who is just 20 years old, it was enough to have his heart racing with excitement.
“He looked like he was ready to play,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He wasn’t messing around. he was obviously very excited to play the game and he kind of came out in a hurry.”
And when Iglesias got his chance to hit, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, he jumped on the first pitch he saw, roping it into the corner in left for a three-run double.
“I was excited,” Iglesias said. “I hit the ball good and I was pumped. But once I got to second base, I had to concentrate on running the bases too because that’s important.”I was excited to play in my first Spring Training game and get my first Spring Training at-bat and I was just happy to swing the bat good.”
It was a whirlwind experience, but one Iglesias — pictured below by Brita Meng Outzen — will savor.
“It’s like a dream playing here and playing in my first game in a Red Sox uniform,” said Iglesias. “I still have to work hard and do things every day to get better. That’s what I’m coming here to do every day.”