Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli has been sidelined since August 11 with a strained quadriceps. For the second straight day, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Napoli did some running on the field, but he still isn’t ready to actually run the bases.
“I want to push it, but I can’t afford a setback,” Napoli said. “One setback and I could be done for the rest of the year. I want to get back and finish the season.”
The Rangers haven’t missed a beat without Napoli, with Geovany Soto picking up the slack for last season’s hero. In 2011, Napoli announced his presence with authority, posting 30 home runs and a .320/.414/.631/1.046 line in leading the Rangers to their second straight American League pennant. This season, Napoli has been nowhere near as productive, though still above average for a catcher. His average is down nearly 100 points to .223 and his slugging has fallen off by over 200 points to .429.
The Rangers attempted to reach a contract extension with Napoli during this past winter, but reports were that Napoli was seeking something in the range of $12 million per season. Given the dip in the numbers in 2012, I’m sure Texas is happy they decided against anteing up. Napoli is a fourth-time arbitration-eligible player after the season. He earned $9.5 million in 2012.
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