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Mike Napoli takes grounders at third base

10.26.13 at 8:47 pm ET
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ST. LOUIS — Prior to Saturday’s game, Red Sox manager John Farrell sang the praises of his first baseman, Mike Napoli, suggesting his disappointment that his remarkable progress as a first baseman was not recognized with nomination for a Gold Glove at the position. Of course, that praise was offered on a night when Napoli is not in the lineup at first base, a byproduct of the fact that David Ortiz is playing the position with the series now in Busch Stadium, the home of the National League Cardinals, a venue in which there is no designated hitter.

As such, it was intriguing to note the onset of something of an experiment. Napoli took grounders at third during batting practice.

Farrell told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (as relayed on twitter) that the possibility of having Napoli play third base this series was “being thought of.”

Napoli played just three professional games at third in his career — one in Single-A Cedar Rapids in 2002, and two more in High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2004. But with the Red Sox getting limited production from the left side of their infield (Stephen Drew is 4-for-42 this postseason; Xander Bogaerts is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts and a sac fly in seven World Series plate appearances), and Napoli having been one of the foremost offensive weapons for the Sox during the ALCS and World Series, the idea of revisiting his career as a third baseman evidently received impetus.

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