Mike Napoli has been activated from the 15-day disabled list and will bat fifth and play first base this evening when the Red Sox take on the Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit. Alex Hassan has been optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket to clear a spot on Boston’s active roster.
Napoli was placed on the disabled list last month with a swollen left ring finger, but the time off also allowed him to rest a sore right hamstring and left calf. He managed to make it back to the Red Sox in the minimum 15 days. The 32-year-old is batting .260/.390/.416 with five home runs and 22 RBI over his first 43 games this season.
Brock Holt has been filling in at first base since Stephen Drew joined the team, but he’s starting in left field tonight with Napoli back in action. He has never played the outfield in pro ball before, but the Red Sox want to keep his bat in the lineup.
Why yes, it is a slow news day. But let’s not allow that to take away from some MLB history.
Last night a young man named Dovydas Neverauskas pitched in mopup duty for the Pirates, who were getting hammered by the Cubs. Mr. Neverauskas pitched two innings, allowing one run, making him, by default, the most effective pitcher the Pirates sent out there last night.
That’s good, but that’s not what makes it historic. What makes it historic is that Neverauskas is the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Majors. Here’s some back story on him from last year’s Futures Game.
Lithuania is known for producing basketball players. Now it has its first major leaguer. Whether he becomes baseball’s Arvydas Sabonis is an open question.
Madison Bumgarner talked to the press yesterday about his dirt bike injury and its fallout.
While there is some speculation that the Giants may change their approach to Bumgarner’s contract situation at some point as a result of all of this, yesterday Bumgarner noted that the organization has been supportive as have his teammates. He said he apologized to them as well for an act he characterized as “definitely not the most responsible decision.”
As for the wreck itself, Bumgarner was a bit embarrassed to say that it wasn’t the result of doing anything cool or spectacular on the bike. Sounds like he probably just laid the thing down. Guess it makes no real difference given that he’s injured either way, but you’d hope to at least get a cool story out of it. Alas.
Here’s video of him talking to the press. The best and most accurate takeaway from it: when he says “it sucks.” Yep.