Monday, March 19, 2012
Notes: Mike Napoli to catch Yu Darvish
By Master Tesfatsion
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike Napoli will be behind the plate today for the first time during a Cactus League game with pitcher Yu Darvish on the mound.
Napoli missed Darvish's second start due to mild tightness in his left groin. It will be his first game behind the plate since he suffered the injury on March 10.
"It’s going to be good to get back in there," Napoli said. "I'll try to get my work in and get out of there without doing anything to my groin."
Napoli won't be caught off guard by Darvish's stuff. He's been behind the plate for a few of Darvish's bullpen sessions this spring. Napoli said it will be a good change to work on their relationship.
"I’m just going to try and be in the right spots and have things go smoothly," Napoli said. "I really don’t have change much. Everything should be good."
Manager Ron Washington said Napoli will likely be the designated hitter Tuesday. Following the off day the Rangers have Wednesday, Washington will put him back at catcher again.
Napoli will catch his fair share of Darvish starts during the season. Washington is not ready to assign a certain catcher to Darvish yet.
"Some days it'll fall where he has Holland, Darvish and Harrison, and there will be some days where he might have two of them and [catcher Yorvit Torrealba] has the other ones," Washington said. "I got two quality catchers and I'm not going to hesitate to use them at any time."
*Washington doesn't want Darvish changing anything that has made him successful. He said Darvish will identify what adjustments he'll have to make as well as the staff.
"If he has to make an adjustment, he's been in this game for a long enough," Washington said. "He's made adjustments before and he'll just have to do it again."
*With an off day Wednesday, Washington has all of his regulars in the lineup Monday. He didn't want to give them too many consecutive days off.
"With us playing here and in Vegas, they've played quite a few games in a row now and today will just be an added one," Washington said.
Washington will give a few of regulars the day off Tuesday. Those that do not play against the Chicago Cubs will play back-to-back games after the team's off day.
*Minor lineup change: Michael Young will switch with Mitch Moreland from first base to designated hitter. It's not injury related. It's Young's preference due to his starts at third base this weekend during the split squad games and his upcoming playing schedule.