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Red Sox pregame notes: Mike Napoli late scratch with foot injury

08.17.13 at 2:32 pm ET
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John Farrell‘s original plan for Saturday’s game was to give Shane Victorino, who has been dealing with a hamstring issue, the day off. That plan changed a few hours before first pitch when it became evident that Mike Napoli was not going to be able to play due to a foot injury. Farrell moved Victorino back into the lineup as a result.

Napoli has been dealing with a lingering “foot ailment” that he re-aggravated Friday night, Farrell said. When Napoli got to the park on Saturday, it was clear that he needed a day off to rest the foot. Farrell added that he doesn’t believe the injury is the reason for Napoli’s recent struggles.

“I can’t say that it’s caused his swing to be less aggressive, or it’s caused him to not hit from a more powerful base,” Farrell said. “It’s something that he’s been dealing with, but he has not expressed that as being a reason for some of the streaks he’s experienced.”

Farrell said Napoli had already been evaluated once before the game, and would be evaluated again later in the day.

As for Victorino, he could’ve used a day off, but it wasn’t needed. The right fielder left Friday’s game with a lingering hamstring issue — one that has forced him to stop batting lefty against right-handed pitchers — but didn’t feel any worse than usual on Saturday.

“Just kind of keeping the pulse of how guys are feeling physically, and just building in a day when needed,” Farrell said. “Sometimes that’s not afforded.”

Other than not being able to bat lefty, the sore hamstring hasn’t affected Victorino. His range and baserunning continue to be areas of strength for him. Batting righty against right-handed pitchers hasn’t hurt him too much, either. Although he has just one extra-base hit in 25 such plate appearances this season, he’s been getting on base at a .400 clip.

Victorino is in his usual two-hole in the lineup. Daniel Nava, who was playing right field and hitting second in Farrell’s original lineup, is now hitting sixth and playing left field. Mike Carp, who was originally in left, replaces Napoli at first base.

UPDATED RED SOX LINEUP

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Shane Victorino RF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

David Ortiz DH

Mike Carp 1B

Daniel Nava LF

Stephen Drew SS

Jarrod Saltalamacchia C

Will Middlebrooks 3B

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

-Farrell said he was encouraged by what he saw from Franklin Morales on Friday, the reliever’s first appearance since rejoining the Sox. He tossed a scoreless 1 2/3 innings, allowing one walk and no hits.

“Good stuff. A lot of strikes,” Farrell said. “I thought he was very good yesterday. Given the number of days off he had since his last rehab assignment, to maintain that command and have that touch, I thought he did a very good job.”

-Farrell wasn’t too discouraged by Drake Britton‘s struggles on Friday — he gave up five hits and three runs in one inning of work. He said you have to expect some bumps like that from young players, but added that he’s been encouraged by how few there have been for guys like Britton, Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa.

“With each guy, there might be one so far, which in its own right is outstanding,” Farrell said. “They’ve come in and pitched in key spots for us, particularly Workman and Britton. The fact that they haven’t gone out and had successive outings where you kind of wonder, ‘Are they getting over-exposed?’, that hasn’t been the case at all.”

Read More: Clay Buchholz, drake britton, franklin morales, mike napoli
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