Now that Mike Napoli is officially in the fold, one thing the Red Sox surely won’t be lacking for this upcoming season is right-handed power.
Napoli, Will Middlebrooks, Jonny Gomes and Dustin Pedroia are all very capable of hitting many a baseball over the Green Monster. Combined with the left-handed and switch hitting bats, respectively, of David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the power game figures to be a major part of the Red Sox’ offensive attack during 2013.
And now that Napoli has officially signed with Boston after a 51-day waiting game (which, we will point out, is exactly one day less than it took J.D. Drew to sign with the club after a similar snag with his physical), the Red Sox have their first baseman and look ready for the season to begin. However, the nature of Napoli’s injury and the fact that his initially reported deal was reduced because of it do raise some concerns.
While Napoli has never hit less than 20 home runs in a season in which he received at least 369 at-bats, the nature of a hip injury is worrisome. While Napoli, by all rights, should continue as a major power force if healthy, it’s a little problematic to expect a guy with a potentially degenerative injury to play everyday when he’s only played in more than 114 games once during his career.
So, what are your expectations for the Red Sox’ newest acquisition? How many home runs are you counting on from Napoli?
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