Mike Napoli ready to deal with ‘stabbing’ in his foot
|10.02.13 at 8:10 am ET|
The Sox first baseman has been relegated to donning the footwear during practice sessions instead of spikes due to a lingering case of plantar fasciitis. Because of the ailment, Napoli not only has had to adjust what he wears on his feet (including special inserts), but also is forced to manage time spent standing around.
‘Butter [Red Sox infield coach Brian Butterfield] doesn’t let me take ground balls,’ he said. ‘I’ll only take about four ground balls.’
The approach is nothing new for Napoli, who has been dealing with the injury for most of the season’s second half. He received a cortisone shot just prior to the Red Sox’ August trip to San Francisco, but hasn’t duplicated the process since.
‘Talk about hurting,’ he said, ‘that’s a needle in the bottom of your foot.’
At this point, Napoli is resigned to the notion that it is a problem that won’t be magically going away any time soon.
‘I try and tell everyone it feels like I’m stepping on an ice pick,’ explained Napoli, who said he doesn’t expect to need surgery at season’s end. ‘When I run, it’s stabbing in my foot and it hurts ‘¦ bad.
‘I have my good days and bad days. When I’m running the bases a lot, the next day I’m going to be sore.’
The best elixir for the injury to date has simply been rest, which Napoli has gotten his fair share of over the final stretch of the regular season. He didn’t play for almost a week, ultimately returning to the lineup for the final three games in Baltimore (going 4-for-11 with four walks).
The combination of time off his feet and medical treatment has produced positive results. Dating back to the Sox’ first game in Los Angeles against the Dodgers (Aug. 24), Napoli is hitting .333 with eight home runs and a 1.186 OPS (best in the majors over that span).
Now he’s counting on continuing his success as a postseason player at Fenway Park, where Napoli has hit .308 with a 1.284 OPS in five playoff games as a visiting player against the Red Sox.
‘Anywhere is always good (in the playoffs), but with this stadium everyone is on you,’ Napoli said. ‘It’s like the old Yankee Stadium compared to the new Yankee Stadium. I remember going to the old Yankee Stadium and it was intimidating. That’s how it is here. But I like that. I like people wanting me to do bad. I want people yelling at me. I kind of chuckle at it. It fires me up to do good.’
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Unexpected Trades Red Sox Could Pull Off This Offseason
- Dream Free-Agent Pickups for Red Sox
- Red Sox Free Agency News and Trade Rumors
- Should Red Sox Trade Cespedes This Offseason?
- Red Sox's Most Tradeable Assets for Offseason
- Uehara Inks 2-Year Extension with Sox
- Possible Trade Partners, Packages for Cespedes
- Eduardo Rodriguez to be recalled for Thursday start
- Cup of Coffee: Roof and Tekotte go back-to-back in Portland win
- The Write-Up: Henry Owens
- Cup of Coffee: Stankiewicz fires eight-inning gem to lead Salem
- Weekly Notes: The Yoan Moncada era begins
- Cup of Coffee: Ball shuts down Dash offense, Callahan has wild outing
- Cup of Coffee: Witte walks off for Portland, Buttrey goes seven strong for Salem
- Cup of Coffee: Kopech drives Greenville past Charleston
- Cup of Coffee: Gunkel grabs first Double-A win, Craig reaches five times
- Cup of Coffee: Moncada breaks out, PawSox lose heartbreaker