Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14
BOSTON — Mike Napoli’s power outage is still in effect. At some point, he’ll need to flip the switch back into its early-season position. Napoli exploded out of the gate this year, racking up extra-base hits and climbing to the top of the American League’s statistical leaderboard. Now, although Napoli is still getting on base at a decent clip, he’s failing to generate the same pop that made him such a middle-of-the-order threat earlier in the year. Napoli’s average sits at .262 and his on-base percentage at .345, both of which are comparable to his early-season figures. His slugging percentage continues to dip, though, as Napoli has only two extra-base hits in 20 June games. That includes one home run, which came all the way back on the first of the month. In Napoli’s defense, he’s had a somewhat tumultuous road this month, having missed seven games, including three in a row from June 14-16 because of illness. But it’s clear that something is plaguing Napoli at the dish right now, and it’s something that will become increasingly concerning for the Red Sox if at some point they start dropping off in other areas offensively. Napoli struck out four times against the Blue Jays on Saturday. The 31-year-old has always been prone to striking out, and the high strikeout rate has been there all of this season. (Napoli is among the major league leaders in K’s.) The strikeouts are much more difficult to deal with, however, when the power numbers don’t accompany them. So far, the Red Sox’ offense has managed just fine amid Napoli’s “struggles,” but it’s undeniable that the lineup is far more dynamic when he’s driving the ball behind Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. That’s especially true now that Will Middlebrooks, who was supposed to be Boston’s other major power source this season, is no longer on the major league roster. Napoli has a reputation of being a streaky hitter, so a slump isn’t something that’s completely out of left field. In fact, it means that a power resurgence could very well be on the horizon. He’ll need to make some adjustments quickly, however, or else we could be looking at a bigger issue in due time. “We’re working to create some consistency. Obviously there’s been swing and miss in his track record. He just missed a couple of pitches today – tough day for him,” John Farrell said after Napoli’s four-strikeout game Saturday. “At times, his swing can get long and he can get beat with some velocity up. [Steve] Delabar expanded up in the strike zone [in the eighth inning] but we’re working to try and shorten that down.” Whether it’s shortening his swing, getting his timing back or overcoming some mental hurdle, Napoli must get back to his early-season level – or at least some sliver of it. The Red Sox are OK for right now, but a simple power outage could turn into a full-scale blackout if things don’t turn around. 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

Gronk reads erotica, sings Katy Perry at SB Media Day

Governor donates $10K to UNM hoops star’s cancer charity

U.S. Soccer: Hope Solo needs to do 'number of things' to return

K.J. Wright: Targeting injured players 'unacceptable'

Five reasons the Patriots will win the Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Five reasons the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl

Bill Simmons fires a shot at ESPN colleague Ray Lewis

Which teams are most squarely on the bubble?

Tiger Woods: 'There was blood everywhere' after tooth incident

Jerry Rice: Asterisk needed if Patriots win Super Bowl

Pete Carroll ok with Robert Kraft despite Patriots firing

One of Tom Brady's ‘treats’ is avocado ice cream

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Tiger on wearing mask: ‘Not a lot of brown dudes at ski races’

Putting the Cleveland Cavaliers’ pieces together

Brodeur to retire immediately and join Blues front office

Michael Bennett talks about sex superstition, calls reporter gay

As Patriots prepare, it's easy to forget about Hernandez

Marcus Mariota's younger brother will play at Oregon

Marshawn Lynch on Media Day: 'I'm here so I won't get fined'

Ranking all 48 Super Bowls

'Goodell Must Go' mobile banners heading to Phoenix

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

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Putting the Cavs’ pieces together

Super Bowl XLIX: Key people to know

Ranking all 48 Super Bowls

Bill Simmons fires a shot at Ray Lewis

NFL pushing CFP to change schedule

Can Yanks not pay A-Rod his bonuses?

Petition started to remove Pats from SB

On John Wall's adidas J Wall 1 NYC All-Star Edition

NFL approved Pats' under-inflated balls?

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

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.