Mike Napoli, the Texas Rangers first baseman at the start of today’s game, was lifted after four innings due to back spasms. Joey Gallo moved from left field to first base in Napoli’s absence, and Ryan Rua came into the game in left field, hitting eighth, where Napoli was in the lineup.
Napoli was 0 for 1 with a strikeout against Houston starter Lance McCullers, Jr. No word yet on the severity of the back spasms, but with an off day on Monday, the Rangers could opt to give Napoli the day off Sunday, allowing him two days of rest, before making a decision on a Tuesday if a d.l. move may be necessary.
Napoli has struggled overall this season, although he has hit left handed pitching well, especially over the past month. Napoli has value as a platoon player or bench bat, and if the Rangers fall out of the race (or, one might say, continue to fall out of the race), a healthy Napoli may be of interest to a contender looking for a role player.