Napoli determined to turn ‘frustrating' season around


The Red Sox keep searching for alternatives to Mike Napoli at first base.

On Tuesday night, they recalled Travis Shaw from Pawtucket and started him in place of the slumping Napoli. And Wednesday, it wouldn't be a surprise to see David Ortiz back at first, given that the Sox are off on Thursday, giving Ortiz a day to recover -- just as was the case Sunday and Monday.

But if the Sox are exploring other options for his spot in the lineup, Napoli is determined to find his stroke at the plate.

"It's been frustrating,'' Napoli told reporters. "I kind of remember it being like this (in the past). (I have to) just keep fighting to try to get out of it. I've been here before. It's been a tough first half, but I still have confidence that I'm a good baseball player and I'll come out of it. I'm going to put in the work to get out of this thing.''

The problem is, the work hasn't paid off yet. Napoli has taken his time out of the lineup to work and take extra batting practice both on the field and in the cage. But it's yet to translate into games.

"I had a pretty good session in Sunday,'' said Napoli. "I came out here and hit early. I'm just trying to get on top of the ball and use the middle of the field. Things are good. I'm healthy. I feel good. It's just about bringing stuff into the game.''

"He's trying to gain some comfort at the plate,'' said Farrell, "and that's going to have to come through repetition and working with Chili (Davis), which he's done early. He's been here on off-days and will continue to work through it to right itself. At some point, that work's got to be put back on the field, an opportunity to play itself out. But for the time being, we'll give him the chance to work through some things.''

In this case, "for the time being,'' may be the operative phrase. The Red Sox can't wait forever for Napoli to figure things out.

"I don't know,'' shrugged Napoli when asked about the team's patience. "I come here every day, put in the work. You never know in this business. I'm going to make the best of my opportunity when I get my chance and try to help us win.''

Contact Us