FORT MYERS, Fla. Mike Napoli is scheduled to undergo a follow-up MRI on Thursday. Napoli, who signed a one-year, 5 million contract with the Red Sox as a free agent in January, was found to have avascular necrosis in both hips during his physical with the team in December.
He has been restricted from doing any impact activities. Manager John Farrell said the teams hope is the results of the next MRI will allow Napoli to take on more impact and baseball activities.
And thatll be a gradual increase in baseball activities, Farrell said. Right now theres no impact or pounding, so to speak. Well get the evaluation of his doctor in New York once its reviewed, the MRI results, and then therell be a work plan laid out, not only volume but the type of work that will follow from that point.
Farrell is optimistic Napoli will be ready for Opening Day.
Right now everything still points to him being ready for opening day, Farrell said. Thursday and the next couple of days is going to give us a lot of information on how we can start his progression with more on field baseball activity.
Despite Will Middlebrooks break-out rookie season, which was cut short by a fractured right wrist, Farrell said there are a few things he would like the third baseman to work on.
I think theres areas defensively, just with his consistency of the footwork, maybe his range to his glove side I know are focal points that hell work with Brian Butterfield at here, Farrell said. But once again, when you talk about a young talented player still going through that cycle and full season for the first time well get to know more about him as well. I know one thing, Im glad hes here.
An area Farrell would like the team to work on is working counts better. Which may be accomplished just by the turnover the team has undergone this offseason.
I think when you look at the change in personnel probably had as much to do with that as anything, Farrell said. And the hitters that have been brought in here, the position players that have been brought in here, theres a distinct track record along those lines.
Daniel Nava, Mitch Maier, Lyle Overbay, and Mauro Gomez all worked out at first base today.
They will continue to take ground balls because as we mentioned yesterday theres that left-handed hitterback-up first basemanleft fielder thats one of the positions that you see those four guys in competition for, Farrell said. So barring any other additions well get as many reps as we can from each of those guys.
Left-hander Felix Doubront, who has been held back because of shoulder weakness, threw from 75 feet on Wednesday. Farrell said Doubront is expected to throw from 90 and 120 feet on Thursday, and remains on track to throw from a mound on Feb. 20.
All the position players, along with pitchers and catchers, have reported to camp except for right-fielder Shane Victorino. Jacoby Ellsbury has been in but has not worked out on the field yet. The first full-squad workout is scheduled for Friday.
Bob Tewksbury, the Sox sports psychology coach, is conducting mental skills clinics with the players. He met with starting pitchers Wednesday, and is scheduled to meet with the relievers on Thursday and position players after that.