FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The meeting was "real emotional," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said -- Jose Iglesias thought he should be in the big leagues. General manager Ben Cherington and Valentine informed the 22-year-old shortstop Tuesday morning that he was being optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
"When I stunk and was sent down," Valentine said, "I thought it was the wrong decision. [Iglesias] didn't stink. He has every right to think it was the wrong decision."
Cherington told Iglesias that it was not an if, but a when, in terms of his major league call-up, the manager said.
"I told him what I told Alex Ochoa a thousand years ago," Valentine said, "that just because God delays, he won't deny. God will not deny."
The decision to send down Iglesias means Mike Aviles will open the season as Boston's starting shortstop. "Mike didn't do anything wrong, that's for sure," Valentine said. "Mike did most everything right."
Cherington had maintained all spring that he felt Iglesias, with just 624 professional at-bats -- six last season with the Red Sox -- needed more time to develop, but that he would keep an open mind.
"It was not a tough decision," Valentine said. "Eventually things play themselves out, and it's easy to do the right thing."
Iglesias, who batted .200 (5 for 25) this spring, needs to get some regular at-bats in the the minors, Valentine said.
"He needs to work a little more on the consistency of his swing and play," he said. "He's been working on things and about two weeks ago he had a mechanic that looked like it was real functional. I think an 0 for 3 took him out of it. That's one of the things he has to develop, a confidence in his program."