Before he came back around into our lives in the first week of September, there was a complicated view of José Iglesias in these parts.
He was the flashy young shortstop that some in the Red Sox' 2013 clubhouse believed had put himself in a status not quite befitting a player with just 98 big league games. So when Iglesias was dealt in that three-way trade bringing Jake Peavy to Boston, the consensus was it was probably best for everyone involved.
Just more than eight years later, Iglesias found himself back in a Red Sox uniform, with a group of coaches and players looking at him in an entirely different light. With Xander Bogaerts and Christian Arroyo sidelined due to COVID, the Sox desperately needed help, and the slick-fielding infielder represented at least part of a solution to Boston's problem.
Still, when Iglesias was picked up it still was viewed as a bit of a Hail Mary considering the shortstop's down year defensively and inconsistent offensive abilities.
But now? Iglesias has been one of the key players to keep the Red Sox' collective head above water.
Anchoring a position (second base) he had previously spent 12 major-league innings at, Iglesias has helped serve as a positive both in the field and at the plate.
Offensively, Iglesias has thrived under the spotlight of a pennant race, hitting .450 (9-for-20) with a 1.150 OPS. It was a reminder what he did while riding the adrenaline of the 2013 American League Championship Series, going 5-for-14 against the Red Sox.
On defense, there has been somewhat of a revitalization. After totaling the worst Defense Run Saved production of any position player (minus-21), Iglesias has been more than solid at both shortstop, where he has played 27 innings without an error, and second, which has included just one miscue in 31 frames.
Iglesias has made two plays out of his positional zone, while converting 21 of the 24 within his area.
The disappointing part of the equation for the Red Sox is that Iglesias won't be an option of Alex Cora's team makes the postseason, with the 31-year-old having to have been in the organization by Sept. 1 in order to be eligible.
But by the time October rolls around, it is believed Arroyo (who still hasn't made an error since June 2, 2019) will be back. Defensively and offensively, that that certainly won't be a step back.
Until then, Iglesias will do just fine, allowing the Red Sox' best centerfielder - Kiké Hernandez - to stay in center field.
It's been a reunion that may be short-lived, but has seemingly helped all involved.