Re: Release Mike Napoli!
posted at 7/1/2013 11:21 PM EDT
Some points. To say he's been stinking for two months is an overstatement. He hit four home runs in April and four home runs in May so that is fine (even if the May homers were early). And after hitting 13 doubles in April (a 78-double pace), he came back to earth with seven doubles in May, which is an excellent number (a 42-doubles pace). So overall, I have no problem with his numbers for May even if his RBIs were down a bit.
Napoli drove in 13 runs in May, but after driving in 27 in May, it was a bit of a market correction. I want my middle-of-the-order bats to drive in 15-plus each month, which is 90-plus pace for the season. So he was only off a couple of RBIs in May.
June is interesting. The bad is the power outage -- 1 HR, 1 double. The one double is more alarming than the one home run. But at least his bat didn't go completely cold. He hit .263 in June, which is respectable and drove in 14, which is OK too (I'd rather 15 as I said, so he's off by one). And his OBP was .352, which is very good. Of course his job his to drive the ball and drive in runs, but if a power/run-producing guy is slumping, at least he's getting on base.
The problem with platooning him more with Carp is that you can't do it neatly. Napoli's BA and OBP are about even against lefties and righties. But his slugging is a lot better against right-handed pitchers than left-handers, so it makes not sense to hit him against lefties and Carp against righties.
Hopefully, he's not hiding an injury and it's just a slump, and he'll heat up again. The Sox were 17-11 in June with his power outage, so to me that's great. Hopefully, he'll heat up to pick up the slack in case someone else gets cold.