Napoli’s glove big loss for Red Sox

By inserting David Ortiz at first base for Game 3 of the World Series, not only do the Red Sox lose one of their most productive bats in Mike Napoli, but also one of their best fielders throughout the season.

Though Napoli didn’t finish as one of the top three finalists at first base in the American League Gold Glove voting, many of the metrics suggest that he should have.

“He’s done an outstanding job there,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “And you’re always going to feel that way about your own guy because you see the amount of work they put in and all that’s gone into that with the work of [infield instructor Brian Butterfield] and [Napoli]. In our mind, he is [a Gold Glover]. And really, all these other awards are outward acknowledgements of the work that guys do, but he’s no less important than anyone that has received a Gold Glove here.”

If the Red Sox are leading in the late innings of Game 3, it is a certainty that Napoli will sub for Ortiz on defense. Farrell will be cognizant of that when it comes to a proper spot for Napoli to pinch-hit.

“If we do have a lead in the sixth or seventh inning, he’s more than ready to go to pick up for David at first,” said Farrell. “That’s why we’ve got to be a little careful when to use him as a pinch-hitter as well, to preserve that defensive side of it.”

One interesting development during Saturday’s batting practice was Napoli taking grounders at third base. Napoli has never played that position in his Major League career. He played one game there at the Minor League level in 2002.

Though it seems unlikely Napoli would play third beyond an emergency situation in the World Series, Farrell hasn’t ruled it out entirely.

“It’s being thought of,” Farrell told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal.

“Not tonight, but it’s an option,” Farrell told Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.

Without Napoli in the lineup for Game 3, Daniel Nava batted fifth, making his first World Series start in place of Jonny Gomes in left.

3 Comments

what the heck is the prob with the MLB big wigs that they can’t schedule the world series games to be fair…they should be played 2 – home field adv team, 2 – opposing team, then 2 – back to home field adv team…if 7th game required of course it should be played in the home field adv team’s field…..doesn’t that make more sense thatn 2 3 2….gives the opposing team 3 games in a row to win….duh

what the devil is going on with bucholz……something is definitely wrong….is he afraid to lose or get injured?…seems like he needs professional help..right?

How did Workman get tagged for an earned run and the loss last night? Wouldn’t an error on the throw to third make for an unearned run? And Workman’s last batter (Molina) was thrown out at home for the 2nd out. Seems like odd official scoring.

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