Drew could miss Opening Day, Sox scramble for a new Shortstop
You’ve got to feel bad for Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew. All he wanted to do was come to Boston and prove he was tougher than his older brother J.D. Drew, and that he could compete for a big market team. After being struck by a pitch on the head he may miss the start of the season, causing a great deal of ire from the fans before the first game has even begun.
J.D. Drew did nothing more than play above average defense and get on base during his tenure in Boston, but his knack for landing himself on the DL earned him the derisive and rude nickname “Nancy Drew,” tarnishing his reputation as one of the better right fielders in the game. His younger brother Stephen hoped to prove to the fans that he is tough and avoid the fate of his older brother, but due to some very unfortunate circumstances he may have a hard road ahead of him.
Manager John Farrell was initially hopeful that Drew would make a quick return considering his having shrugged the incident when it happened, but things have quickly gone downhill since then.
“We thought this was going to be a couple of days thing at the most and at the time he was hit, never even thought twice about it,” Farrell said. “But here we are 10 days later and we’re still in the same situation.”
While Drew has been resuming some of his baseball activities by playing catch and stretching with the team, many of his symptoms still persist keeping him off the field.
“The biggest question is when does he get back in a game. He still has kind of, as he described it, kind of a wavy feeling in his vision or in that field mentally that he has when he moves quickly or has a quick reaction to something to stay under control.” Farrell said.
Drew’s greatest problem is that his return from the DL is not up to him. The MLB has extremely strict procedures when dealing with concussions, so before he returns Drew will have to go through and pass a series of tests. Should he fail one he will be put back on the DL. The frustration must be mounting for the young shortstop; he tried so hard to prove he was tough enough to play in Boston and now he is at the mercy of many factors well outside of his control.
While this may be bad news for Drew, it could be very good news for Jose Iglesias. Long heralded as one of the best defensive players in the game, Iglesias has struggled at the plate causing the Sox to pass over him for other talent at shortstop. Iglesias gained 10 pounds in muscle over the winter and has been hitting the ball very well, attracting a great deal of attention from John Farrell.
“He’s done a good job. We talked about his set-up in the box in the early part of camp. We’ve seen more consistent hard contact. He can’t be totally measured in the batting average but he’s looked aggressive at the plate,” Farrell said.
Iglesias’ recent improvements certainly make him an attractive option to start on Opening Day. This could be his first big break, hopefully he makes the most of it should he get the chance.