Jose Iglesias (back strain) nearing return

Pawtucket Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias has been on the disabled list since May 29 with a lower-back strain he suffered during batting practice late last month.

At the time, the Red Sox prospect was hitting .341 for the month of May and starting to feel confident at the plate. But he could face some new competition in the future, as the Red Sox selected shortstop Deven Marrero from Arizona State University as the 24th overall pick in the MLB draft earlier this week.

Marrero, 21, was considered the best position player available in this year's draft. Iglesias, 22, is playing his third season in the Red Sox organization, and even though his defensive skills are off the charts, his offense has been a work in progress.

When asked recently if he knew the Red Sox selected a shortstop as the club's top pick, Iglesias said: "I heard about it, but I really don't pay too much attention to it. Right now I just want to get back. I love this game a lot and it's not fun when you're on the bench. I love to be on the field."

Iglesias has not played since May 25 but believes he's close and said he wants to make sure he's 100 percent before returning to the lineup.

"My first goal is to be healthy and be able to be on the field every day and push myself every day to get better," Iglesias said.

The injury came at the most inopportune time for Iglesias, given the fact he was hitting so well. Once he's able to return to the lineup, he thinks he'll be able to keep it going.

"Yeah, no question. I feel very good at the plate, consistent at the plate," Iglesias said. "I'm off the field right now, but I'm trying to get back as soon as possible."

Iglesias likely has extra motivation now that there's another highly touted shortstop in the organization.