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Iglesias hopes versatility helps him stick with team

BOSTON -- If Jose Iglesias is going to stick around as a utility infielder with the Red Sox when Will Middlebrooks returns from the disabled list, which could be as soon as Saturday, he'll have to learn how to play some second base, too.

Iglesias, a natural shortstop who has been filling in at third base for Middlebrooks, stepped in at second base in the top of the eighth inning of the Red Sox's 17-5 win over the Rangers on Tuesday.

He only touched the ball once, handling a throw from shortstop Stephen Drew to step on second base for an out.

"Great reviews tonight," manager John Farrell joked afterward.

"I was pretty comfortable," Iglesias said. "It's pretty short. It's different -- you've got to take your time and make the throw."

With Middlebrooks' return lingering, Farrell wouldn't say if Iglesias would stay with the Red Sox as a super-utility man or be returned to Triple-A Pawtucket to get everyday playing time.

Asked how he would adjust to a part-time role, Iglesias said, "No idea. Let's get there first and see how it goes."

Farrell said there was nothing else Iglesias could do to make his case.

"Players tell you when they're ready and sometimes that doesn't always work because there are some things out of their control," Farrell said. "Jose has done a very good job for us. And in very limited action at third base, he's played it flawlessly. We have no limitation at all on either position on the left side of the infield for him. As far as roster moves, we'll address that as time moves on."

If Iglesias stays, it would probably leave Pedro Ciriaco without a job. The current backup infielder hasn't played much this year and is out of options, so he'd have to clear waivers before making it down to Pawtucket.

Iglesias, who went 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs Tuesday, has four doubles and a home run while reaching base in all 11 games since being recalled from Triple-A. He's hitting .431 with the Red Sox.

"He's benefited from some balls finding their way in for base hits," Farrell said. "I think the most encouraging thing is that you look at the way he addresses pitches now, with the aggressiveness in his swing, it might not always result in a base hit, but hard contact is more frequent and with each passing day the confidence continues to grow."

Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato.
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