Iglesias happy to play 2B, like “Pedey”

WASHINGTON – For more decorated shortstop, having to move to second base can be a disappointment.

But for Cuban José Iglesias, playing middle school on his return to the Red Sox is a privilege that allows him to pay tribute to one of the most influential mentors he has had in his career.

Shortly after Iglesias defected from Cuba and signed with Boston in 2009, Dustin Pedroia took the young man in and explained what he would have to do to succeed in the majors.

“What didn’t Pedey tell me? He explained everything to me, every day, ”said Iglesias. “I am very close to Pedey and I think he was an important part of the player I became.”

A few weeks ago, when patrolling the short stops for the Angels, Iglesias did not imagine that he would soon be defending the position that belonged to Pedroia in Boston in the middle of a fierce fight for the postseason that could be defined on the last day of the regular season or later.

It’s safe to say that no one in the history of the Red Sox has played more important games at second base than Pedroia.

“That’s another thing that I’m taking very seriously in playing that position,” Iglesias said. “Every time I stand there, I’m thinking about Pedey, how much he respected the game and how hard he worked.”

Leading up to Sept. 10, when manager Alex Cora put Iglesias to play second base for the first time this season, the Havana native had seen action at that position only once in his career, in 2010.

It didn’t take long to adapt.

“I definitely feel more comfortable. The first games, it was a bit difficult, the angles, the timing and everything else, “said Iglesias. “It took me about two days to adjust and feel comfortable there.”

If the Patirrojos reach the postseason, Iglesias’ campaign will come to an abrupt end. Since he joined the team after September 1, he is not eligible to play for Boston after the regular season. However, you could see action in a playoff game prior to the Wild Card Game.

“Things are the way they are. If we make the playoffs, I’ll be happy for the team. It’s not about me, ”Iglesias said. “This is about the team, coming in and continuing to help in my role and doing what I have to do, which is to continue helping the team on a daily basis. Let it happen, what will happen ”.

The Red Sox are likely to invite Iglesias to be with them on the bench in the postseason, although he would not be eligible to play.

“We’ll see what the options are,” Iglesias said. “Right now, we are taking things one day at a time. The priority is to win tonight and that is the only thing we have in mind ”.