Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/27/13
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

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

MLB reportedly close to rule preventing collisions at second base

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

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

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker