Mike Napoli running on ankle, feels good

Rangers catcher Mike Napoli said Monday that his injured left ankle continues to progress, though it's not quite at 100 percent.

"I think I’m close," Napoli said. "I’m not really going to know until I get into the wear and tear of spring training and catching all the time. But I've been feeling good and getting better day by day."

Napoli said he's been running on the ankle and even doing so with a sled behind him on Monday. He's taped up the ankle a few times to see what it's like and said that helps. He's also hitting and throwing without pain. He said the question will be the constant squatting and baseball activity.

"But I'm trying not to do that all the time so I'm not depending on that," Napoli said. "I'm working on getting my little muscles stronger."

Napoli said when the one-year, $9.4 million deal was finalized over the weekend, it was "ton of bricks" off his back. It meant that Napoli and the Rangers could avoid an arbitration hearing set for Wednesday in Tampa, Florida.

"It feels good to get it done and not have to worry about that this week," Napoli said.

Napoli is leaving this weekend for Surprise, Arizona, days ahead of the reporting date for pitchers and catchers.

"I can’t wait to get back there and see all those boys and get back into it again," Napoli said. "I wish I was leaving now. I’m ready to do baseball stuff and not just working out."