With Lowrie ill, Iglesias gets first big league start

With Lowrie ill, Iglesias gets first big league start

With Lowrie ill, Iglesias gets first big league start
TORONTO -- Jose Iglesias got a few firsts out of the way in his first three days in the Majors. There was the game-ending grounder he fielded on Sunday. Then, the walk-off run he scored Monday. And on Tuesday, Iglesias struck out in his first career at-bat, but reached base anyway thanks to a wild pitch.

But on Wednesday, Iglesias, who is the No. 42 prospect on MLB.com's Top 50 Prospects list, took the biggest step of all, making his first Major League start. With Jed Lowrie continuing to be hindered by an illness, Iglesias was inserted into manager Terry Francona's starting nine, batting ninth and playing short.

"Jed's sick," Francona said prior to the Red Sox's 9-3 loss. "Jed's been fighting it. He got a pretty good fever last night and it's not really been subsiding today. I told him to kind of take it easy a little bit, see if he improves, maybe pinch-hit him later -- with the day off tomorrow. He just looked terrible."

For Iglesias, who is arguably Boston's top position prospect, it will be a good opportunity to get experience.

"It's exciting," Francona said. "He's not going to be short on energy. Yeah, it's OK. I think we were kind of looking for a place to play him. Jed's been doing so well, it's kind of hard to take him out. But when Jed looks like a wet wash cloth, it's time to give him a night off."

Iglesias, who went 0-for-3 Wednesday, already has the skills to be an elite defender. His offense is a work in progress. In Tuesday's first at-bat, he was a little over-eager.

"That would be the word I would use -- aggressive," Francona said. "And that's been sort of the thing at Triple-A, too, which we know. He has a tendency early on to be swinging at a lot of pitches. Hopefully that's something that gets better with experience. He can do some things with the bat. Just, [with] plate discipline, sometimes that takes a while."

Iglesias was summoned from Triple-A Pawtucket because of a left oblique injury to backup shortstop Marco Scutaro.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.