John Farrell may use Mike Napoli as a late-game defensive replacement at first base

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Now playing under National League rules, Red Sox manager John Farrell has opted to start David Ortiz at first base over Mike Napoli, at least in Game 3 of the World Series. While Napoli has hit well for the Red Sox throughout the post-season, Ortiz has out-done him, homering in the first two games against the Cardinals, to boot. Ortiz certainly lacks the defensive skill set to be reliable at first base, but the hope is that he’ll outhit his deficiencies with the glove.

Farrell did express consternation with the correct way to utilize Napoli off the bench:

Though the thought of Napoli as a “defensive” replacement seems odd, advanced defensive statistics graded him well:

Additionally, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Napoli took grounders at third base, creating speculation that Farrell is getting creative with ways to get both bats in the lineup.

And people think the DH is great. The endless lineup strategy is exhilarating!

Trey Mancini exits game with apparent knee injury

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Orioles left fielder Trey Mancini was forced to exit Friday’s game after sustaining an apparent knee injury in the eighth inning. Mancini tracked a foul pop fly to the left field fence and attempted to make a sliding catch. The ball was lost in the stands, however, and he slammed his right knee into the unpadded base of the wall in the process. He was able to stand and walk under his own power, and even tried walking around the outfield before eventually leaving the field with a trainer. The club has not announced an official diagnosis for Mancini, but postgame comments from manager Buck Showalter indicate that he’ll undergo an MRI and may need a couple of stitches in his knee.

This is the second health scare for the 26-year-old outfielder this season. Several weeks ago, he was struck on the hand by a wayward pitch and managed to avoid the disabled list after X-rays returned negative. It seems unlikely that he’ll avoid it a second time, though he’s currently considered day-to-day for the time being.

The Orioles went on to snap their six-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Indians. Prior to his injury, Mancini went 1-for-4 with a go-ahead, two-run double off of Trevor Bauer in the fifth inning. He entered Friday’s contest batting a hefty .286/.356/.416 with two homers and a .772 in 87 plate appearances this season.