Mike Napoli played a game-and-a-half on the gruesome-looking ankle injury he suffered during the World Series, but four months later manager Ron Washington describes him as being “60-70 percent” recovered as Rangers camp begins.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Napoli’s ankle is strong enough that he’s been able to catch multiple bullpen sessions, but as Washington explained “he’s certainly being careful cutting on the basepaths.”
Napoli never had blazing speed to begin with, so as long as he’s able to catch and hit he should be able to play regularly early on. And if not the Rangers have Yorvit Torrealba as one of the majors’ most experienced and most expensive backups. In fact, prior to Napoli taking over as the everyday catcher in the playoffs Torrealba started 95 of 162 games behind the plate during the regular season.
NEW YORK (AP) Five minor league pitchers have been suspended for drug violations.
The commissioner’s office announced the penalties Tuesday.
Three of the players are part of the Toronto system. Right-hander Juan Jimenez and left-hander Naswell Paulino were each suspended for 72 games, and righty Jol Concepcion was banned for 60 games. Jimenez, Paulino and Concepcion tested for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance.
Jimenez and Paulino are on the roster for the rookie-level Dominican Summer League Blue Jays, and Concepcion is on the roster of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Blue Jays.
Kansas City minor leaguer Travis Eckert and free-agent lefty Kevin Duchene each tested positive for a drug of abuse. Eckert was suspended for 50 games following a second positive test, and Duchene received a 100-game penalty following a third positive test.
Eckert is on the roster for Single-A Lexington of the South Atlantic League.
There have been 79 suspensions under the minor league drug program this year and five under the major league program.