Sean McAdam of CSNNewEngland.com shares the gory details about the painful facial surgery that Mike Napoli had earlier this offseason to help end his long battle with sleep apnea …
Napoli underwent the procedure – bimaxillary advancement – in November. Surgeon Dr. Leonard Kaban broke Napoli’s jaw in two places, then shifted his lower jaw forward to create a bigger airway. Though his trademark beard has grown back, Napoli’s profile is now noticeably different.
He spent two days in Mass. General’s intensive care unit and felt excruciating pain for more than another week. When he was released, he was limited to a liquid diet. He dropped considerable weight, which he only recently gained back.
“I still have some complications,” Napoli told McAdam. “I don’t have feeling in my lips or my chin, because they stretched out my jaw so far and all the nerves take time to come back. It can take up to a year. … It was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever (gone through), to tell you the truth. It was a brutal process.”
But he says he’s sleeping better and has felt much more energized during his offseason workouts.
Napoli appeared in only 119 games in 2014 for the last-place Red Sox, batting .248 with a .789 OPS, 17 home runs, 20 doubles, and 55 RBI. He hit .259 with an .842 OPS, 23 home runs, 38 doubles, and 92 RBI across 139 games in 2013. The 33-year-old first baseman is entering the final year of a two-year, $32 million deal.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.