Thursday April 04, 2013 | 06:03 AM

First, Stephen Drew will displace one prospect in Portland and then, if all goes according to plan, he will displace another in Boston.

Drew will join the Portland Sea Dogs today, Boston manager John Farrell told the Red Sox beat writer before Wednesday night’s game in New York. Drew will play as many as four, maybe even five games with the Sea Dogs.

That means that Portland shortstop Xander Bogaerts will play out of position (third base? Designated hitter?) when Drew plays short. Presumably, Drew might play at least one game as the DH.

And when Drew is ready, he will go to Boston and be inserted as the Red Sox starting shortstop, no matter how good current shortstop Jose Iglesias is playing.

That may be a tough call, but it’s not really a difficult one. When you sign a veteran free agent for $9.5-million, he might eventually lose his job over ineffective play, but not because of an injury that has delayed his major league season for a week.

Iglesias was told he needed to improve his offense. In his first two games, he has five hits, while continuing to play superb defense. He won’t keep hitting .556, but he is showing that he can play in the majors in this very small sample.

That should help Iglesias’ confidence. Time is on his side. He is only 23, and. Drew is on a one-year contract.

The addition of Drew gives Portland two major leaguers on its roster. See Today’s Story.

Portland is a good affiliate for Boston, for many reasons. One is cold weather. While it was very cold in New York last night, Iglesias, a native Cuban, said he had played in it before. He told Peter Abraham of the Globe that his 2010 season with the Sea Dogs was the most difficult: “I hate the cold. But I had to get used to it … I’ve learned how to deal with it. It’s part of the game when you play here.”

In other notes, former Sea Dogs reliever Josh Fields made his second major league appearance with the Astros and retired the one batter he faced on a fly-out. Houston, which grabbed Fields in the Rule V draft, is easing Fields into the majors. He had his debut on Tuesday, again facing only one batter (strikeout).

The other Sea Dogs pitcher taken in the Rule V draft, Ryan Pressly, has yet to appear in a Twins game.

Terry Francona is 2-0 with Cleveland’s second victory over the Blue Jays. Toronto, which upgraded its roster, is considered the Al East favorites by some. And yes, of course, it’s early. Only 160 games to go.

The Sea Dogs play at 6 tonight. Good seats still available. Check back here for updates (and on twitter: @ClearTheBases )

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.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court


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