The injury bug continues for the Red Sox as Mike Napoli, the third Boston player of the week to go down with an injury, will head to the 15-day disabled list with a sprained finger. Napoli dislocated that same finger sliding back to first base in April and his production has fallen off a cliff since then. Napoli is slashing a respectable .260/.390/.416 this season, but that slash line is buoyed by an excellent April that saw him slash .305/.405/.526. Since his finger began limiting him, he has slashed just .186/.368/.237 in May, posting an excellent walk rate and on-base percentage but showing none of the power that makes him such a dangerous threat in the middle of the lineup.
As Napoli heads to the disabled list, the Red Sox will recall Brandon Workman from Triple-A. The three injuries of the week (Napoli, Shane Victorino, and Felix Doubront) combined with the signing of Stephen Drew has put the Red Sox 25-man roster in a state of flux. Drew was added to the 25-man roster when Doubront went to the disabled list and Daniel Nava was recalled yesterday to make room for Victorino. Given that the Red Sox needed a pitcher to start today when Doubront’s turn in the rotation rolled around, Napoli’s DL trip actually works nicely to make room for Workman.
The Red Sox will hope that two or three weeks of rest will help to rehabilitate Napoli’s finger. Currently mired in a nine-game losing skid, the Red Sox desperately need some power in their lineup but Napoli is unable to provide that power right now. The Red Sox will likely turn to some combination of Mike Carp and recently-recalled Daniel Nava at first base. Neither player has produced well so far in 2014, but hopefully they can provide some production until Napoli is ready to return with a hopefully fully-healthy finger.