The Boston Red Sox are entrenched in a 10-game losing streak and frustrations are erupting as the team was involved in a brawl with the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. But before the game on Sunday, the frustration of injuries continued to plague the team as the Red Sox placed first baseman Mike Napoli on the 15-day disabled list.
Napoli is one of the team's big bats, but he has been playing with a dislocated left finger since April 15. In a game in Chicago, Napoli made a head-first slide into second base resulting in the injury. It has staggered his production offensively and the team felt it was time to give the first baseman time to heal. Napoli also suffered flu-like symptoms that have lingered. Red Sox manager John Farrell felt it was the right move to give the slugger the time he needed to heal.
"Mike was still a few days away," Farrell said. "We wanted to give him ample time with the finger, but given the situation and the need for an added arm, we felt like we had to make the move to put Mike on the DL. Hopefully this gives him that extended period of time to get past this in its entirety, or at least to try and get further ahead of it."
The move allowed for the team to keep reliever Alex Wilson as Brandon Workman has moved into the starting rotation in place of left-hander Felix Doubrount, who is on the DL with a strained left shoulder. But it hasn't really been the pitching that has failed the Boston Red Sox so far this season. The offense has struggled mostly due to injuries and a lack of chemistry. Not only is Napoli on the DL, the team has also had to place Shane Victorino back on the DL and also third baseman Will Middlebrooks.
The one bright spot in the offense has been Xander Bogaerts, but even he had to leave Saturday's game with a cramp in his right hamstring. Although he has recovered and was available for Sunday's game, a cramp is something that can linger. The Red Sox are hoping to end their losing streak on Monday as they begin a two-game series about the Atlanta Braves.