March 26, 2012; Clearwater, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias (76) hits a single in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Jose Iglesias, SS
On the surface, it doesn't look like there's much to update here. Iglesias still has a rather sad-looking OPS, and aside from the stolen bases, hasn't done much offensively overall. But dig a little deeper, and things start to look like they're trending in the right direction. He's striking out just 11 percent of the time. The walks are back down a bit, as they were in the past, but still at six percent. And, most importantly, Iglesias is hitting .342/.357/.430 in May.
Let's not hang a mission accomplished banner on the USS Iglesias just yet, but for someone who progress has been incremental for at best over the last year, seeing him actually hit in a month's time is worth taking a moment to appreciate.
That being said, the drop in his walk rate is a bit disconcerting, even if it's come with alongside a serious drop in his punch outs. Iglesias doesn't have enough thump to give up sitting through longer plate appearances like this, but as part of the ongoing process to develop him into a tolerable major-league hitter, it certainly beats April's 485 OPS.
Ross Ohlendorf, SP
Ohlendorf is far down the list for starting pitching depth, but he merits mention here given Daisuke Matsuzaka's difficulties in rehab combined with Aaron Cook's problems keeping that nasty laceration on his knee sealed up. Ohlendorf hasn't wowed at Pawtucket -- not a good sign for a 29-year-old with major-league experience -- but he hasn't been terrible, either (in fact, his 4.07 ERA is exactly average). Should it come down to it, he's pitched just about well enough where he could be trusted with a spot start, should that come up. Although, given he's not on the 40-man roster, that's a lot of trouble to go through just for a spot start.
In Thursday night's start against Toledo, Ohlendorf went six innings, striking out six and walking just one. More of that would certainly engender confidence in his abilities to get MLB hitters out once again, but he hasn't been very consistent with his success to this point. The Red Sox likely won't need him, but after the events of the past two-plus years, you know as well as anyone that sometimes, you just never know.
Mark Melancon, RP
This isn't another call to bring Melancon up immediately -- the 25-man is full at the moment, and it's likely Boston is attempting to clear room with a trade so as not to waste control of assets. Someone like Matt Albers isn't going to bring you a pennant, but his most significant fault is that he's just okay. In a league where Justin Thomas gets claimed on waivers and takes up a 40-man spot, there's room for Albers on someone's roster.
No, this is just to highlight how ridiculous Melancon has been during his time at Triple-A. He's rediscovered the strike zone, and is reportedly throwing inside to hitters once again. All he was finding in the majors was the fat part of his opponent's bats, so a return to form for the reliever who missed plenty of bats in 2011 while simultaneously inducing grounders is a welcome one. He'll get back to Boston eventually, and the Red Sox will be glad when he does, even with the highly-productive relief unit they're currently sporting.