From MLB.com’s Joey Nowak comes word that Rangers catcher Mike Napoli had to be scratched from Saturday’s Cactus League game against the White Sox due to a “nagging left groin issue.”
Rangers trainers called the decision “precautionary,” and Rangers manager Ron Washington assured reporters in camp that “there’s no concern.”
Napoli is a little behind the other everyday players at the Rangers’ spring training complex due to a high ankle sprain that he suffered in Game 6 of the World Series. But he’s mostly recovered from that, and this groin thing represents only a minor setback. The 30-year-old slugger should be fine for Opening Day.
Napoli hit .320/.414/.631 with 30 home runs and 75 RBI in 432 plate appearances last season.
Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.
If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.
Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.
Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.
In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.
Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.