Mike Napoli’s hip problems cost him about $30 million after the Red Sox reworked his contract, but the good news is that he won’t be significantly behind the other hitters in camp.
Manager John Farrell told reporters that Napoli is scheduled to make his spring training debut Friday and will play first base rather than designated hitter.
Napoli ran the bases over the weekend and reported no problems, and he’s been taking batting practice for a while now. He’ll obviously be watched closely throughout camp, but so far so good.
Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are considering moving starter Jaime Garcia to the bullpen. If they go that route, Sam Gaviglio would start in Garcia’s place on Sunday against the Angels.
Garcia, 31, has struggled to a 6.16 ERA with a 56/31 K/BB ratio in 61 1/3 innings over 13 starts this season. Gaviglio, meanwhile, has a 3.75 ERA with 35 striekouts and 11 walks in 36 innings across six starts and two relief appearances for the Jays this year.
Garcia inked a one-year, $10 million contract with the Jays in February. The deal includes a club option for the 2019 season worth $10 million with a $2 million buyout.