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Saturday, March 17, 2012
Mike Napoli would love to catch 100 games

By Jean-Jacques Taylor

SURPRISE, Ariz. - Mike Napoli returned to the Rangers' lineup Friday afternoon and delivered one hit in four trips to the plate.

He continues to insist the time he's missed in spring training because of a sore groin isn't a big deal.

""Of course I want to be out there," Napoli said. "That's why I was sore with my groin and trying to push through it. I just thought it was sore. I want to be in there all the time."

That's because his goal is to catch at least 100 games, something he has done before in the major leagues. The Rangers probably don't want him doing that because the Texas heat wears down most players in July and August, and the Rangers want him fresh for the playoff run in September.

Plus, Yorvit Torrealba is a solid catcher and the Rangers can get Napoli some rest by using him at designated hitter or first base, positions that aren't as taxing. He started 57 games at catcher, 27 at first base and 18 at designated hitter last season.

For the Rangers, it's about winning a title. To do so requires personal sacrifices from almost every player.

"I'm not going to sit here and complain that I need to catch a certain amount," Napoli said. "We are trying to win a division, and we've got two guys who can get it done behind there. I think it worked out well last year."