Blog Entry

Angels continue to refuse Napoli playing time

Posted on: August 25, 2010 11:49 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2010 12:00 am
 
Mike Napoli Poor Mike Napoli.

Napoli is one of the better hitters in the game, working on a .251/.320/.483 mark, bashing his 21st home run on Wednesday. Going 2 for 4 with six RBI, Napoli clearly is one of the Angels' better hitters, as he has been the last few years with a career OPS of .835.

However, the catcher can't get no respect. He's been playing behind Jeff Mathis for years. While Mathis is a strong defensive catcher, he can't do much with the stick. That's why, when Kendry Morales went down with a freak injury earlier in the year, it was thought Napoli might finally get his chance at first.

While he's received significant time at first, he hasn't exactly been the full-time starter, and prior to Wednesday's outburst, manager Mike Scioscia revealed that Napoli would split time at first with Juan Rivera, reports the Los Angeles Times .

Why? Because Rivera has been a more consistent hitter lately, Scioscia contends.

Here is the month-by-month totals for both hitters, Napoli first. This is through games of Tuesday, so Napoli's outburst on Wednesday hasn't made it, which would completely change the complexion of his August totals:

April: .167/.300/.214 in 50 PA
May: .322/.385/.713 in 96 PA
June: .228/.295/.426 in 112 PA
July: .250/.287/.463 in 87 PA
August: .224/.304/.367 in 56 PA

No, not exactly consistent, but he shows that despite a lack of contact he still has a strong eye and power, something lacking in the Angels these days.

And Rivera:

April: .247/.299/.420 in 87 PA
May: .209/.292/.390 in 89 PA
June: .263/.317/.461 in 82 PA
July: .319/.338/.449 in 71 PA
August: .256/.304/.326 in 46 PA

"Consistent" isn't what comes to mind when looking at Rivera's numbers. "Bad," maybe. "Lacking upside, like Napoli," perhaps.

In addition, Rivera has exactly three games of experience at first, one coming in 2008. Napoli has proven so far to be an average fielder, and Rivera may be much the same, but it's not as if Rivera is a gifted defensive outfielder who can be expected to make the transition seamlessly.

However, given Rivera is due $5.25 million in 2011, he'll get the playing time. Napoli has two more years of arbitration ahead of him, but here's hoping Los Angeles cuts the cord and sends him somewhere where he plays. Napoli's stick is extremely valuable behind the dish, but if he sticks to just first and DH, can still be a valuable player to a team.

It's too bad the Angels can't seem to realize that.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:53 am
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kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 5:17 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 7:24 pm
 

Angels continue to refuse Napoli playing time

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Since: Nov 29, 2008
Posted on: August 26, 2010 12:54 pm
 

Angels continue to refuse Napoli playing time

I love Napoli's bat.  You would have to be blind to think that you see Rivera taking better hacks than Mike.  Nap has been solid at first.  Wilson is better offensively and defensively than Mathis, and although I like him, I hope he's catching in another uniform next year.  Wilson/Napoli is not bad at all, and with Napoli seeing a lot of DH duty next year, he should be found 550 ABs a year.  I agree with everything being said about the catching situation.  The front office loves Mathis more than they love winning, and he should go.  He could go today if they could get some sort of prospect for him.  Wilson is a better choice.




Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2010 8:58 am
 

Angels continue to refuse Napoli playing time

I was looking for this earlier with my first post, but this is the best review of this situation that I have found.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/b

log_article/napoli-vs.-mathis/





Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2010 8:55 am
 

Angels continue to refuse Napoli playing time

The funny thing is that Jeff Mathis isn't that much better than Napoli defensively if you look at the numbers.  I feel bad for Napoli, but I feel even worse for Angel fans having to watch overated Mike Scioscia trot out the worst lineups, and your front office miss on talent evaluations on a pretty regular basis.

These managers just get things in their heads and refuse to let them go to the detriment of their teams.  Mike Napoli should be playing every day.



Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: August 26, 2010 1:48 am
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Since: Apr 16, 2008
Posted on: August 26, 2010 12:01 am
 

Angels continue to refuse Napoli playing time

Did I just read that right?  Napoli and one of the best hitters in the game should never be used in the same paragragh.  I sure hope he was being sarcastic.  


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