BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell had already hinted that Mike Napoli would not catch when the World Series shifts to St. Louis on Saturday. Prior to Game 2 at Fenway Park, he put that notion to rest for good.
“The one outside view might be to put Mike Napoli behind the plate, but we wouldn't do that,” Farrell said. “[Napoli] or [designated hitter David Ortiz] is going to sit, unfortunately.”
Regardless of which direction Farrell goes, it will dramatically alter the lineup. Ortiz has four home runs in 11 postseason games and Napoli has five extra-base hits and five RBIs in his last five games.
Napoli, who has caught over 500 games in his career, has not played behind the plate since joining the Sox. Ortiz, meanwhile, has started all 68 postseason games since coming to Boston, including all four in National League parks during Boston’s World Series sweeps in 2004 and 2007.
If that trend continues and Napoli is rendered to pinch-hitting duties for two (or three) games, Farrell may have to swallow hard and hope that history does not repeat itself; Napoli is 4-for-38 (.105) with 20 strikeouts as a pinch hitter in his career.