Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 6/29/13
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. 

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jimmy Butler rips Marcus Smart in post-Game 4 interview: ‘He’s not about that life’

New NHL record set as 18 first round games require overtime

Fred Hoiberg rips officials, says Isaiah Thomas allowed to carry ball

Derrick Rose hangs out with Bulls owner at playoff game

WATCH: Robin Lopez unties, then reties Jae Crowder’s shoe in strange sequence

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tyronn Lue drops hilarious quote about LeBron James’ first-round success

Clarke MacArthur scores Senators’ series-winning goal after miraculous return to ice

Adam Schefter reminds everyone Jimmy Garoppolo is not getting traded

Russell Westbrook confronts reporter for question about Thunder bench

WATCH: Rockets bench laughs as Andre Roberson misses free throw

Steve Kerr does not rule out missing remainder of playoffs

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB (and that's just the injuries)

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

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

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

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