Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Mike Napoli continues to be pain free, so it looks like the training wheels are about to come off. Napoli, who did some more baserunning drills on Wednesday, is on track to make his spring training debut on Friday when the Red Sox host the Pittsburgh Pirates. Napoli, who was diagnosed with a hip condition during the offseason, has been brought along slowly by the Red Sox’ coaching and training staff in an effort to cautiously prepare him for the regular season. The slugger hasn’t suffered any pain, though, and it looks like he’ll soon take the field for his first game as a member of the Sox. “I feel good to go,” Napoli told reporters. “I worked out hard to get my legs in shape and I feel good to go. I thought I was going to be sore, but everything’s been good. I’ve been running a lot in the pool, so I think just doing that has helped me when I get out there to not be so sore. “I think it was just my muscles in my legs, just getting them in shape. I haven’t thought once about my hips in anything I’ve done because I’ve never felt anything. So for me to worry about my hips hurting when they haven’t is just, it doesn’t bother me. I’m just worrying about getting my quads and hamstrings and everything in shape. I hadn’t ran in two months. I think that’s just getting my feet under me and worrying about my quads and hamstrings.” Napoli hasn’t attempted to slide yet, but the 31-year-old said that he hasn’t been told to avoid sliding, and he therefore doesn’t see it becoming an issue when the time comes to finally hit the dirt. Napoli continues to adapt to his new position at first base as well. He’ll likely get the start there on Friday, and that’s where he figures to see the majority of his playing time this season after years behind the plate, so it’s important for him to continue getting the necessary reps before Boston’s April 1 opener. Napoli already feels like he’s made a ton of progress and his comfort level continues to soar, especially when it comes to his footwork. “Yeah, just talking with [third base coach Brian Butterfield] and being in the right position, because I never knew what the right position was or how I should go at it. I just try to be athletic over there and make a play,” Napoli said. “Now it’s almost like a guideline. I take groundballs and I put myself in the right position over and over, that my body just reacts. It’s starting to react now. I just go out there and take groundballs and let everything happen. “Now I feel comfortable doing it.” Comfort is always a good thing, especially when you consider how important it will be to have a healthy Mike Napoli in the middle of the Red Sox’ order this season. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

How much will Rousey and Zingano make for their fight?

Browns agree to three-year deal with Josh McCown

Peterson releases statement, no mention of the Vikings

Bulls general manager expects Derrick Rose back in 4-6 weeks

Ray Allen reportedly will not sign with Cavaliers if he returns

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Shane Vereen squashes rumor he wants $5 million per season

Jon Gruden on Meyer: 'Greatest coaching job of all time'

Vince Young to work out at NFL Veteran Combine

Report: Mike Wallace unwilling to restructure contract

Report: Colts targeting Brandon Marshall

Rakeem Christmas leads Syracuse in exercise of futility

WATCH: Knicks' Alexey Shved tosses wild pass into stands

Ten players ready to make the leap in 2015

WATCH: Reggie Bush says he won't quit football

PHOTO: ECHL team will wear Dr. Seuss jerseys

Report: Baron Davis in talks to join a contending team

Earl Lloyd and basketball’s cruel February

Pirates issue statement about ISIS executioner in team hat

WATCH: Dress debate threatens to derail Brooklyn Nets’ season

FIFA gave Fox the 2026 World Cup to avoid a lawsuit

WATCH: Charles Barkley rips analytics... again

Dark horse World Series contenders in 2015

The Jacksonville Jaguars need to step up

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Earl Lloyd and basketball’s cruel February

WATCH: Barkley rips analytics again

A-Rod: A con man returns to baseball

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Rousey, Arianny Celeste get into it

Dallas sportscaster back with another powerful essay

The parallels of Rose and Hardaway

Offseason breakdown for all 32 NFL teams

On Josh Hamilton's addiction and feeling alone

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.