At the trade deadline the Pirates chose not to make any high-impact moves, instead acquiring Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick in the hopes that the pair of underperforming veterans would turn things around at modest prices.
Since then the Pirates have plummeted out of the playoff picture, with Lee playing just five games before being placed on the disabled list with a fractured wrist, and now Ludwick has joined him on the shelf with back spasms.
Ludwick hit just .262 with one homer and a .722 OPS in 21 games before the injury, which isn’t exactly the type of right-handed thump the Pirates were hoping for from the 32-year-old outfielder.
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.