When Mike Napoli signed with the Red Sox this past off-season he agreed to have exams periodically on his hips after being diagnosed with Acascular necrosis in his hips. In the coming days Napoli will undergo an MRI on his hips as part of a 3 month check up. Napoli will have Wednesday night off and Mike Carp will start at first base against the San Diego Padres.
According to Napoli he is feeling great physically and attributes most of that to playing at first defensivley instead of catching on a night to night basis.
"My body has never felt this good at this time of year," Napoli reflected. "Just playing first base is way different. … The hip is fine. Physically, I'm good."
The Sox first baseman has been struggling mightily lately and even though Boston is just calling this a night off for Napoli to "re-group" it may be more than that. Manager John Farrell recently spoke about Napoli's struggles at the plate and has even considered dropping him in the lineup.
"We're trying to get back to the production that he's showed," Boston manager John Farrell said. "It doesn't have to be to the point of April, but somewhere in between."
As Red Sox fans know with Will Middlebrooks in Pawtucket Boston doesn't have a right-handed option on their bench. The combination of Napoli's struggles and if his MRI reveals his hips worsening Middlebrooks could be up in Boston sooner than anticipated. This all just goes to show how Boston will look to add corner infield depth by the trade deadline. In my "To trade or not to trade", article yesterday I spoke about the Phillie's infielder Michael Young as a player that Boston should make a run at. Once Napoli goes in for his MRI an the results are given we will update you on his status and the Red Sox options going forward.