Notes: Napoli in Sox starting lineup after HBP

Notes: Napoli in Sox starting lineup after HBP
April 21, 2014, 11:15 am
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BOSTON -- When Mike Napoli got drilled on the right kneecap Sunday night by a pitch from Baltimore reliever Darren O'Day, it didn't look -- or sound -- good.

"The way he went down,'' said John Farrell, "it didn't look promising. You could hear it from the dugout. It was clearly on the bone. But once he got some feeling back, while the soreness was there, he was good to continue. We were somewhat anxious to see how he was going to respond this morning. But walking around after the game (Sunday) night, he was mobile. It remained loose.''

Accordingly, Napoli was back in the lineup the Patroits Day matinee, some 12 hours after the Sunday night game ended.

"He's a little sore, but ready go,'' said Farrell.

* Brock Holt becam the fifth Red Sox player to hit leadoff in the team's first 20 games.

"He's had very good at-bats against both lefties and righties,'' said Farrell. "We've had a number of different guys in that leadoff spot; I realize that. I think the priority becomes having some continuity two through six, which we've been able to do with this alignment. And that's where we are today.''

Holt had hit leadoff 12 times while with the Pirates in 2012 and frequently in the minors.

"Throughout his minor league career,'' said Farrell, "he's been a top-of-the-order type of hitter, so there's no hesitancy putting him in that top spot. In the short time that he's been here, he's seen some pitches. He's put up some long at-bats, he's done a very good job.

"So while we're still searching for that one true guy in that spot, this is the next candidate.''

* The Red Sox will get their first look at Masahiro Tanaka Tuesday night when they begin a three-game series with the New York Yankees.

Tanaka is 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 28 strikeouts with two walks so far in three starts.

"I'm looking forward to seeing him pitch,'' said Farrell. "I think anyone who's a fan of the game is going to (want to) look at a guy who's highly touted, coming to the major leagues. I've only seen video of him prior to him singing with New York. We know that he's got a well above-average split-finger fastball.

"He's competitive, strong and we're looking forward to seeing him across the field.''

Farrell said he's been impressed with the "pretty quick transition to the major leagues.''

* In the first three weeks, the Red Sox have had a number of on-field ceremonies, late-night travel and arrival and some odd start times, including, obviously, Monday's 11 a.m. start time, on the heels of a game that ended 11 hours before the matinee.

Starting Tuesday, many of those special ceremonies and unusual start times will be over, and Farrell hopes the Sox can settle into some normalcy.

"We would hope so,'' said Farrell. "And yet some of the things are in recongnition of some achievement last year. The schedule is what it is and we have to react accordingly. But it's thrown some body clocks off-kilter and this sport, more than any, routine is critical and it will be a welcome sight to get back to those consistent start time.

"This is a quick turnaround, a rarity today. We're on short rest, but the game goes on. We'll be there -- I can't say with bells on -- but we'll be raring to go.''