BOSTON -- The veteran is hurting, the kid is excited, the team is protective.
Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro, who had an MRI on Sunday that showed a moderate strain of the oblique and will force him to refrain from any baseball activity for at least seven days, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. To take his place, Boston activated 21-year-old shortstop Jose Iglesias, who had been summoned from Scranton, Pa., where the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox had played Saturday afternoon.
The Red Sox arranged for Iglesias to do a pregame media session, complete with translator, then respectfully asked reporters to stay away, undoubtedly out of consideration of the Cuban defector's tender age and limited exposure to major media attention. And manager Terry Francona, in his regular pregame media appearance, made it clear that Iglesias' promotion is intended to be temporary, and that he is here as backup insurance, not to play every day.
"We talked to him a little bit this morning,'' Francona said. "We all think he has a bright future here, but I don't think right now is the time for him to be our starting shortstop. Certainly, I would assume he'll play some, but I don't know when. Maybe put him in for defense late, pinch run, we'll find ways to try to use him, like we do with everybody.
"But in the meantime, let him learn the atmosphere, what's expected of him, hopefully will be real good for his development.''
Francona mentioned that Iglesias had played a little third base in the Arizona Fall League, and said that Iglesias could play second base if needed.
"His hands are good enough to be anywhere, and his instincts. ... The one thing you don't ever want to do is put a kid in a situation where he'd be uncomfortable, but I think he'll be comfortable anywhere," Francona said.
Scutaro, who started at short Saturday with Jed Lowrie at third, left the game in the eighth inning for a pinch-hitter, J.D. Drew. Francona said Scutaro's side has been tender for several days, but the team was in desperate need of infielders Saturday. Not only was Scutaro hurting, but Lowrie was stricken with the flu bug that has been making the rounds of the clubhouse.
"He was light-headed, dizzy, he didn't look good,'' Francona said -- and there was some uncertainty whether he would even return to the field after the two-hour, seven-minute rain delay.
Lowrie played nine, and is back in the lineup at short for Sunday afternoon's game against the Minnesota Twins. Francona said he was feeling much better Saturday night.
Scutaro played 20 games at short, starting 17, hitting .235 with one home run and eight RBIs.
Iglesias, meanwhile, acknowledged that even he didn't expect to arrive in the big leagues this quickly, just 17 months after signing a four-year, $8.25 million deal with the Sox.
"It's good for me, especially with my age, to be here in Boston, it's a great team,'' said Iglesias, who ever since his arrival in the U.S. has immersed himself in the language and culture here. "I'm very happy and excited.
"I'm just here to help the team any way I can. If it's for the team, I can play any position."
He was batting .253 in 24 games with Pawtucket, scoring 11 runs and driving in four.
Iglesias was told by Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler after the game that he was joining the parent club. One of his first calls, he said, was to his father, Candelario, who is living with his son in Pawtucket.
"He was crying,'' Iglesias said of his father, who had gone nearly two years without seeing his son until he, too, was able to leave Cuba and the two were reunited in Miami in January.
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.