José Iglesias was perhaps the best offseason pickup the Cincinnati Reds made over the winter. Is he now the long-term answer at shortstop for the Reds?
Most fans of the Cincinnati Reds did not expect a lot out of José Iglesias other than a solid glove to backup José Peraza at shortstop. Iglesias was signed to a minor league deal this offseason. Since his inclusion in the starting lineup following an injury to Scooter Gennett, Iglesias has shown that he belongs in the starting lineup and may be the long-term solution at shortstop.
Ever since Spring Training, Iglesias has been an impressive and entertaining player to watch. Iglesias has come up clutch at the plate on more than one occasion. For his career, Iglesias has a slash line of .271/.315/.368. On the season, Iglesias is slashing .295/.331/.429 right now. His .295 batting average is the best on the team.
Iglesias has had several clutch moments this season. His home run on May 1st in New York was the only run the Reds scratched across in a 1-0 victory over the Mets. His double on Opening Day scored the Cincinnati Reds’ first run of the season. Iglesias has 15 RBIs on the season; good enough for fourth on the team.
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It’s no secret that the Cincinnati Reds have collectively struggled offensively for the majority of this season. Fans and players alike have shown their frustration at the inability to score runs and even get runners on base so far.
José Peraza would have been the every day shortstop for David Bell this season had Gennett not been injured. Since Scooter’s injury, Peraza has been seeing a fair share of time at second base. Derek Dietrich has seen a lot of time there more recently.
With reports that Scooter Gennett is on the mend and likely on his way back to Cincinnati sooner rather than later, one has to wonder what will happen with playing time for the middle infield once he finally makes his 2019 debut. Kyle Farmer or Josh VanMeter will almost assuredly be optioned to Triple-A Louisville.
José Peraza, while solid a shortstop, is not nearly the defensive wizard that Iglesias has shown to be. Offensively, Peraza has had some difficulty this season. So far he is only slashing .205/.254/.287 in the 40 games he has appeared in.
Peraza’s play has been pretty disappointing considering how strongly he was playing at the end of the 2018 season. He was on track to become one of the better offensive shortstops in the game after leading the NL in singles (133) last season.
The Cincinnati Reds have been struggling so much lately with bringing in runs that they cannot afford to put anything less than their absolute best players on the field every day. I am a big fan of José Peraza, who brings a lot to the team, but right now José Iglesias is the clear choice for every day playing time.