Tag:Mike Napoli
Posted on: June 15, 2011 8:07 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 11:54 pm

Giants eyeing Rangers catchers

With Buster Posey out for the year, the Giants are still looking everywhere for catching.

The latest place they're looking: Texas, where the Rangers may be willing to move a catcher once Mike Napoli returns from the disabled list.

Yorvit Torrealba is the Rangers' starter behind the plate, and Napoli was his backup. With Napoli out, the Rangers have called up Taylor Teagarden, who has big-league experience and was hitting .326 with nine home runs in 24 games at Triple-A Round Rock. Teagarden is only a .216 hitter in 107 career games in the big leagues, but remember, there's very little catching available and the Giants need help.

With Posey out, the Giants have gone with an Eli Whiteside/Chris Stewart tandem behind the plate. In 19 games without Posey, Giants catchers have hit .180 with no home runs and just two RBI.

Napoli, who has a strained left oblique, went on the DL Sunday. The Rangers hope he'll be able to return in the minimum 15 days.

The Giants seem determined to find catching help somewhere. Besides the big leagues, they've sent scouts to watch any Triple-A team with a possible answer behind the plate.

Posted on: June 15, 2011 7:49 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 8:24 pm

Rangers (most of them, anyway) happy for Mavs

NEW YORK -- That wasn't Dirk Nowitzki taking batting practice Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

But it was Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson, with a Dirk Nowitzki shirt.

"I bought 25 Mavericks shirts and gave them to everyone," Wilson said.

So the Rangers were all supporting their Texas neighbors?

Not exactly.

"That reminds me," Wilson said. "Mike Napoli has to dye his hair blond like Nowitzki."

Napoli grew up in South Florida, so it was all right that he was rooting for the Heat in the NBA Finals, Wilson said. But a deal is a deal, and the deal was that if the Mavs won, Napoli would dye his hair.

Posted on: January 21, 2011 8:45 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 9:36 pm

Angels needed to act, but . . .

Remember when I said the Angels had to do something big, that they had to land someone big, that if they didn't get Carl Crawford and they didn't get Adrian Beltre, they had to get someone big?

Maybe I was wrong.

The Angels just got someone big, someone who hit 31 home runs last year, someone who has been on the All-Star team three times. After a winter in which the Angels seemed to fear every big contract, the Angels just got someone with one of the biggest contracts in the game.

And it's hard to get away from the thought that they were better off when they were doing nothing.

Now they've traded Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli to the Blue Jays for Vernon Wells, and the question people in baseball were asking Friday night was, "Why?" Or, more accurately, "WHY????"

Wells was once a good player, but he's now 32 years old and still has four years and $86 million remaining on a contract that until Friday was considered one of the most untradeable in the game. And the Angels, incredibly, took on the entire $86 million (although they'll save about $11 million on Rivera and Napoli).

The Angels are obviously convinced that Wells' 2010 season (31 home runs, an .847 OPS and stunning home-road splits) is the sign of a mid-career bounceback, and maybe a sign that Wells' earlier problems were a result of a wrist problem (see colleague Scott Miller's column from last May).

But what if it isn't?

Any big free agent is a risk. Any big trade is a risk. But as Scott said when I told him of the trade Friday night, this one feels like a slugger who has been striking out all night and goes up in the late innings and just swings wildly for the fences.

Maybe the Angels hit a home run with Wells. Just as likely, it's just another strikeout -- and a hugely expensive strikeout, at that.

Crawford would have been a risk, too, but he would have helped change an Angels offense that has gotten older and less athletic as the years have gone on. Wells, who is 32 and signed through 2014, does none of that.

He gives the Angels a guy who once led the league with 49 doubles -- but that was eight years ago, when he was 24. He gives a guy who has three 100-RBI seasons -- but the last of those was five years ago, when he was 27.

He's a big name, and the Angels will have an easier time saying they've made a splash with this move (unlike in December, when general manager Tony Reagins said he'd made one by signing middle reliever Hisanori Takahashi).

But it's hard to get away from the thought that this splash will hit them right between the eyes.

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