Mike Napoli cleared for increased workload during spring training

On Friday Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli underwent an MRI on his ailing hip to see if the vascular necrosis (AVN) had worsened since the original diagnosis. All of Red Sox Nation, the organization and Napoli himself awaited the results - hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

It was confirmed this weekend that Napoli’s hip was stable and the AVN hasn’t worsened. This came as encouraging news for the aforementioned parties because now Napoli is cleared to begin position drills at first base while increasing his work load during spring training.

The Sox will keep a close eye on their newly signed first baseman in order to keep his condition under control. They might limit Napoli during spring training just as a precaution moving forward. The Red Sox plan to use Napoli at first, but also as a power hitter in the starting lineup. Although they haven’t officially decided where Napoli will be placed within the batting order I’m willing to bet it’s somewhere between three thru six.

As always it’s important to keep an eye on Napoli’s health throughout spring training. Any setbacks could affect his ability to play on Opening Day against the “Stankees.” According to the 31-year old Napoli that shouldn’t be a problem - he’ll be ready to go by 

(Video courtesy of Mike Petraglia)

Follow Scott Levesque on Twitter at @scottlevesque.