BOSTON — Mike Napoli and Brock Holt are unlikely to play again this season, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Napoli has been banged up all year with several ailments, including a finger injury that sent him to the disabled list at the end of May. Holt has been sidelined since Sept. 5 due to a concussion he suffered during a collision in Toronto at the end of August. The Red Sox had been hopeful both players would return, but with four games remaining on Boston’s schedule, reality is starting to settle in.
“It’s a combination of all of them. It’s the fingers, the toe, the back,” Farrell said Thursday in regards to Napoli, who has been limited to 119 games. “There’s a number of things that he’s dealing with.”
Napoli is hitting .248 with 17 homers, 55 RBIs and a .370 on-base percentage. It looked like Napoli was in store for a big year after posting a .932 OPS in 25 games in April and a .954 OPS in 21 games in June, but the second half has been a grind for the 32-year-old first baseman.
“It had an impact, there’s no question,” Farrell said of Napoli’s finger injury before Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. “When he’s dealing with the swelling that was there for pretty much the remainder of the season, it affected the grip strength. I would think at some level it affects the force in which he’s able to swing a bat. And yet he did what he could to get through it.
“You see him tape his fingers together each and every at-bat. He also missed some time because it piled up on him and he had to take a step back for a couple of weeks on the DL. It definitely had an impact on him.”
Holt is hitting .281 in 106 games this season while playing all over the diamond. The initial hope was that Holt, whose concussion was diagnosed during a visit with Dr. Micky Collins in Pittsburgh, would return for the Red Sox’s final series of the season against the New York Yankees. It now appears the 26-year-old’s next game could come in the Red Sox’s Fall Instructional League.
“He’s going through daily workouts that are increasing, which is all part of us continuing to ramp him up to get him back on the field. But the field is probably going to be Instructional League,” Farrell said. “He still has to go back out to Pittsburgh to be cleared by Dr. Collins, so that’s almost improbable before Sunday.”
David Ortiz (wrist) and Will Middlebrooks (hand) also are dealing with injuries. It’s possible their seasons could be over, too, but the level of uncertainty surrounding their respective statuses is a bit higher.
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