Rays' Davis, Niemann will have shoulders examined

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Uh oh.  Word comes from the Tampa Tribune’s Tony Fabrizio that the Rays have sent both Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann back to St. Petersburg to be examined Monday by team orthopedist Dr. Koco Eaton.

“Both of them have been experiencing the same kind of posterior shoulder
soreness,” manager Joe Maddon told the Tribune. “Again we don’t think either rone
is a long term situation of any kind but we want to make sure before we
put them out there.”

Niemann had a start skipped this weekend, so it’s no surprise, but Davis’ issues are new.  The rookie topped out at 158.2 innings last season for Triple-A Durham and has already reached 121.1 total frames this year in the big leagues.  Perhaps he’s hitting a wall.

The Rays held Jeremy Hellickson back from his scheduled Sunday start at Triple-A and could call him up next week if either Davis or Niemann is forced to the disabled list.  Hellickson threw seven innings of two-run ball in his major league debut against the Twins last week and would be a fine fill-in.  But it’s not exactly an ideal time for a Wild Card-leading team to begin losing starters.

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.