The Red Sox once saw Jose Iglesias as their shortstop of the future. Then, quite unexpectedly, he became the everyday third baseman this season. Now that he has been traded, the Red Sox have a hole in their lineup.
On Wednesday night, rookie Brock Holt was summoned from Triple A Pawtucket to play third base against Seattle.
Manager John Farrell suggested Holt would platoon with righthanded hitting Brandon Snyder.
“That’s where we stand today,” he said.
But that may not be where they stand for long. The Sox as early as Thursday could promote Will Middlebrooks from Pawtucket.
Middlebrooks was the Opening Day third baseman but was demoted in favor of Iglesias after hitting .192 over 53 games.
“He’s in the conversation, I know that,” Farrell said. “In his own right, he’s working through things he’s been very clear on. There’s been some increase in consistency while in Pawtucket.”
The 24-year-old Middlebrooks has hit .253 for Pawtucket with eight home runs and 30 RBIs in 37 games. He did not help his cause Tuesday when he struck out in his second at-bat and was ejected.
“He’s doing well,” Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. “He’s doing everything we asked him to do. He’s a very talented player who got to the big leagues pretty quickly, had some success, and then like a lot of talented players who play in the big leagues for a long time, he hit a little bit of a speed bump this year.
“He’s going to be a very good major league player for a long time. He’s done exactly what we’ve asked him to do. He knows what he needs to do and he’ll be back in the big leagues when the time is right. We don’t know when that is.”
If Middlebrooks returns, Holt could slide into a utility role. He has experience at second base, third base, and shortstop.
Snyder could be expendable. He has hit .212 with a .235 on-base percentage in his 15 games with the Red Sox and has one hit in his last 14 at-bats.
Snyder is out of minor league options, which could complicate the decision if the Red Sox want to maintain the most depth.
The Sox do not appear likely to promote 20-year-old Xander Bogaerts from Pawtucket to play third.
With Iglesias gone, Bogaerts is the shortstop of the future and playing him out of position wouldn’t seem to make sense. Bogaerts has played only five games at third this season. He started at shortstop Wednesday.
Workman to bullpen
Rookie righthander Brandon Workman was 1-1 with a 2.45 earned run average in three starts. But with Jake Peavy expected to join the rotation Saturday, he will go into the bullpen.
Workman will not be available until Saturday at the earliest after throwing 103 pitches against Seattle Tuesday night.
“Brandon has done probably as much as we could have asked in the three starts he’s made,” Farrell said. “If the need were to arise to go to another starter, we’d certainly turn back to Brandon. Brandon Workman has been very impressive.”
Ideally, the Sox will use Workman in multi-inning stints to keep him available to start. But Farrell said he wouldn’t hesitate to use him in late-inning pressure situations.
“If you start to prioritize the characteristics of a successful reliever it’s strike throwing and he has shown that,” Farrell said. “He’s been thrown in the fire and he’ll be thrown in there again.”
The Red Sox pulled Iglesias out of Tuesday night’s game before the top of the ninth inning as the trade was coming together.
Cherington met him in the clubhouse and suggested he leave Fenway Park before he was put in the awkward position of answering questions from reporters.
On Wednesday, Farrell sent Iglesias a text message to wish him well.
“I will say this: We gave up a very good player, an exciting young infielder,” Farrell said. “This is the first time he’s changed organizations and it’s unsettling for any player regardless of the stage of your career. He’s going to miss it here but he’s going into a very good situation himself.”
Cherington didn’t anticipate trading Iglesias or trading a player out of his lineup. But the opportunity to obtain Peavy outweighed that.
“That’s where you have to be open-minded and adjust your sights,” he said.
Dustin Pedroia was sorry to see Iglesias go.
“We got a great player in Jake. It’s part of the business,” he said. “Iggy was great for us and he’ll be fine in Detroit. That’s a great spot for him.”
Said Cherington: “He’s fun to watch because of what he does defensively. People in Detroit will have fun watching him.”
Morales gets ready
Lefty reliever Franklin Morales threw a perfect inning for Pawtucket Wednesday. He has retired all six batters he has faced in two rehabilitation appearances. Morales, who is on the disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle, is scheduled for back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday. “It’s been two very good innings for him,” Farrell said . . . Righthanded reliever Alex Wilson, who is coming back from a thumb injury, started his rehab assignment Tuesday and will pitch again Thursday . . . Brayan Villarreal, the righthanded reliever acquired from Detroit in the Peavy trade, was assigned to Pawtucket. He has not pitched in a game since July 12 because of a thumb injury. He spent nearly all of 2012 with the Tigers but struggled in seven games early this season and has been in Triple A since . . . The Mariners traded minor league infielder Robert Andino to the Pirates for a player to named or cash.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.