Sox option 5, including Iglesias, Anderson

March, 17, 2011
ORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox cut five players Thursday, three before Thursday's 8-5 exhibition win over the New York Mets, and two afterward.

Before the game, the Sox optioned shortstop Jose Iglesias, infielder Yamaico Navarro, and catcher Luis Exposito, all to Pawtucket. Afterward, first baseman Lars Anderson was optioned to Pawtucket and Cuban outfielder Juan Carlos Linares was reasssigned to minor-league camp.

Exposito learned the news after returning to Miami to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Francona said it wasn't ideal to inform him in that fashion, but preferred to do that instead of having Exposito drive back to Fort Myers and then learn he was cut.

"We'll visit with him when he comes back,'' Francona said of Exposito, who caught 28 innings and had 10 at-bats (1 for 10).

Iglesias played in 15 games here and batted .320 (8 for 25). All eight of his hits were singles. He walked once and struck out twice.

"His command of the English language is way better,'' Francona said when asked about the difference between Iglesias' first big-league camp last spring and this one, "which I think makes it easier for him, not only on the field but off the field. I don't think we saw the type of hitter we're going to see. I think his mentality is he's trying to show so much, make an impact, he gets in in the sixth inning and I think he wants to do too much. I think when he settles down and gets into a season, we'll find out what kind of hitter he can be.

"We all know and you can see the defense is there, but I think the offense will continue to grow as he gets more grounded and he gets some at-bats.''

Navarro played 75 innings in camp, 57 at third, 18 at short. He batted .273 (9 for 33), a home run his only extra-base hit.

"Navarro has come a long way,'' Francona said. "The word we use with the young guys so much is accountability. When they come here, trust and accountability. It's not just how you swing the bat. Do you know all our plays, because every game is so important. I think he's learning that and I think he's continue to learn and mature. It's fun, because he's got so much bat speed, it's going to be fun to see how much better he can get.''

Anderson has made great strides defensively ("night and day,'' Francona said) and hit .161 in camp, including two home runs. This was the first big-league camp for Linares, who batted .320 and played all three outfield positions. Francona said the right-handed hitting Linares, who signed with the Sox last July after defecting from Cuba and at 26 is on the older side, is a player he could envision helping the Sox this season if they needed to call up an outfielder.

The Red Sox still have 43 players in big-league camp. Another round of cuts is expected after Friday's split-squad games against the Tigers and Rays.

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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