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Napoli injury changes Red Sox lineup

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 17, 2013 01:40 PM

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The Red Sox changed their lineup. Mike Napoli is out with a sore left foot.

"Mike Napoli is dealing with a foot ailment that is going to require him to be off his feet here today," Farrell said. "Something he's been dealing with for quite some time and aggravated last night on that double [in the ninth inning]. So when he came in today, felt like he needed a day down at a minimum."

Farrell added these details: "It's in that plantar fascia area of the left foot. He was examined today by our training staff. I'm sure once our team orthopod [Dr. Peter Asnis] is in here before game time that will take place again. This has been something that's been a maintenance issue for him for a little bit of time here."

Farrell was asked whether the injury has contributed to Napoli's poor performance at the plate. He is hitting .211 since July 1 with six home runs and 15 RBIs over 149 plate appearances.

"No, I can't say that has caused his swing to be less aggressive or it's caused him to not hit from a more powerful base," the manager said. "It's been something he's been dealing with but he has not expressed that as being a reason to why some of the streaks he's experienced."

Farrell intended to give Shane Victorino a day off to help with his sore left hamstring. That changed when Napoli was unable to go.

"Just kind of keeping the pulse of how guys are feeling physically and just building in a day when needed. Sometimes that's not afforded," Farrell said.

The new lineup:
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Carp 1B
Nava LF
Drew SS
Saltalamacchia C
Middlebrooks 3B

Also:

Clay Buchholz threw in the bullpen today and the next step would be to throw in a simulated game next week. Farrell said the righthander may not be going on the upcoming road trip and could throw that simulated game at Triple A Pawtucket.

The step after that would be for Buchholz to start a rehabilitation assignment and pitch in a game for the Paw Sox. Farrell said a second simulated game is possible, too.

"He's confident that he's making steady progress," Farrell said.

Backup catcher David Ross is scheduled to catch nine innings for Pawtucket tonight. Ross is 1 for 12 in his rehab games for Portland and Pawtucket. Farrell said Ross would be activated as scheduled on Monday regardless of his performance at the plate.

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