The Red Sox offense is in desperate need of a shock to the system and tonight against the Detroit Tigers, the return of Mike Napoli may jump-start this sleeping giant.
According to ESPN.com, Boston sets to activate Napoli before Sunday night’s came against Detroit after missing nearly a month with a finger strain. Napoli’s presence behind David Ortiz will add depth to a lineup that has been lacking any strong force in the middle since Napoli went to the disabled list.
Though the Sox haven’t had many issues getting on base, they have trouble driving runs in, something that Napoli gets paid to do, almost literally. My guess is we will see Alex Wilson or another reliever optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, and perhaps if the offense continues to struggle as we move towards the All-Star break, we could see Mookie Betts get a chance to roam the outfield if Holt is unsuccessful.
Perhaps what be most important in Napoli’s return is the energy and confidence that he brings to the clubhouse. While he has still been around the club, it is obvious that the swagger isn’t there and that Jonny Gomes can only do so much on his own in that department. If Napoli gets it going early on in his return, we may start to see some of that personality that was infectious in the clubhouse last season, but I won’t hold my breath until I see more of Big Papi smiling.