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.
Today’s play of the day wasn’t made by a professional athlete. Rather, it was made by a fan in the second deck on the first base side at Miller Park during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Diamondbacks and Brewers.
Phil Gosselin fouled off a 1-1 fastball from Will Smith to the right side. A fan wearing purple — perhaps in support of the D-Backs? — leaned over the railing of the second deck and snagged the ball with her bucket hat.
The Brewers beat the Diamondbacks 6-4. They took three games out of the four-game series. Heading into the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline, they’ll host the Pirates for three games.
The Royals announced on Thursday evening that reliever Luke Hochevar has been placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 25) as he’s showing signs of thoracic outlet syndrome, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports. Reliever Brooks Pounders has been recalled from Triple-A Omaha.
Thoracic outlet syndrome, simply put, is the compression of blood vessels and nerves between the neck and the shoulder. As we’ve seen lately, the fix for this often involves surgery to remove the pitcher’s upper rib.
Hochevar, 32, has compiled a 3.86 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who can become a free agent after the season if either he or the Royals decline his 2017 option, was a potential trade candidate recently mentioned by Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.