Jeff Francis set to return 15 months after surgery

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Jeff Francis last started a regular season game in September of 2008, but the Rockies left-hander is scheduled to rejoin the rotation Sunday nearly 15 months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Francis’ first minor league rehab start didn’t go very well last week, but he tossed seven shutout innings in his second outing Tuesday at Double-A and will come off the disabled list to face the Nationals.
“A lot of time has passed since the last time I pitched,” Francis told Jack Etkin of InsideTheRockies.com. “I look forward to being out there and helping this team win a bunch of ballgames.”
Francis was a big part of the Rockies’ run to the World Series in 2007, going 17-9 with a 4.22 ERA in the regular season and 2-1 in the playoffs, but logged 232 innings after previously never topping 200 and went 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 2008 before shutting things down.

Mike Napoli tore his ACL

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Mike Napoli suffered a torn right ACL and meniscus while playing for Triple-A Columbus the other night. The injury will require season-ending surgery.

Given that Napoli will turn 37 this year, given that he will need 10-14 months of rehab and given that, as it was, he was unable to find a major league gig, it’s almost certain that this injury will end Napoli’s career.

Napoli was off to a 1-for-24 start at Columbus after signing a minor league contract with the Indians this spring. He hit .193/.285/.428 for the Rangers in 2017. If this is it for Napoli, he’ll end his career with a line of .246/.346/.475 with 267 homers and 744 driven in. He appeared in the World Series with the 2011 Rangers, the 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Indians, winning a ring with Boston.