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.
Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.
Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.
Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.
After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.
Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.