Wednesday August 15, 2012 | 01:21 AM

As reports circulate about the continued dysfunction that is the Boston Red Sox, and as the team keeps losing, isn’t it time for them to make a couple of changes?

They made one Tuesday, trading Kelly Shoppach to the New York Mets for a player to be named. That will give more playing time to Ryan Lavarnway.

Now it is time to bring up shortstop Jose Iglesias. He went 2-for-4 Tuesday for Pawtucket and is hitting .261 (.320 this month). Everyone knows about his superior glove. Why not start grooming him for the major league job that should be his in 2013?

Current shortstop Mike Aviles (.255) went 0-for-4 Tuesday. He doesn’t have to be benched. He can move to third base.

Boston’s playoff chances took another hit yesterday (see standings below) with a loss to Baltimore. Josh Beckett (5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 K) took the loss and is now 5-10.

Of course, this is an even year. Beckett is only 54-53 in even years and only once has his ERA been below 4 in an even year (3.79 in 2004).

In odd years, Beckett is 74-37, with two World Series titles. His worst ERA in an odd year was 3.86 in 2009.

Beckett’s next scheduled start? Sunday in the Bronx.

In the minors, Juan Carlos Linares (.306) went 4-for-5 for Pawtucket. Josh Fields relieved for 2 innings (1 H, 1 BB, 2 K). His Triple-A ERA remains 0.00 after five innings.

Daniel Bard followed Fields and did not give up a hit. He did allow four walks, however, and a run in 1/3 of an inning.

Sea Dogs starter Brandon Workman shined in his Double-A debut. See TODAY'S STORY.

Also, Xander Bogaerts made an impressive Hadlock Field debut. See TODAY'S COLUMN.

More standouts from Salem will be coming, likely at the start of next year. Corner infielder Michael Almanzar (.305) went 2-for-3, hitting his 10th and 11th home runs … Matt Barnes (3.40 ERA) threw a one-hitter over 5 innings (0 R, 3 BB, 3 K).

Greenville starter Henry Owens (11-5, 5.30) has a high ERA because of outings like Tuesday’s: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K. He got a ground-out to begin the game, and then gave up a walk, double and three-run homer.

Now for the standings: 

Yankees 69-47
Rays 63-53 (6 back)
Orioles 63-53 (6)
Red Sox 57-60 (12.5)
Blue Jays 55-61 (14)

Rays 63-53
Orioles 63-53
A’s 61-54 (1.5 back)
Tigers 62-55 (1.5)
Angels 61-56 (2.5)
Red Sox 57-60 (6.5)
Blue Jays 55-61 (8)
Indians 54-63 (9.5)


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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