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Mike Napoli's Playing Time Poll

One of the biggest mysteries to me is what Mike Napoli's role will be for the 2011 Rangers. He could play catcher, of course, but the Rangers have an emphasis on defense that would probably keep him away from their pitching staff. He could play DH, but Ron Washington has said he's committed to getting Young as many PAs as possible, even if Napoli is the better hitter. He could play first base, but there also seems to be a commitment to Mitch Moreland, perhaps even so much that Moreland won't be regularly platooned.


Napoli gives the Rangers options, but it seems like he's being treated as a depth piece. At the same time, however, you don't give up Frank Francisco for a depth piece. Even if you have reason to think Francisco's going to hit a wall or something, you don't hand over cash to get a depth piece, then sign it for six million dollars. I have to assume the Rangers plan on getting Napoli regular playing time. His platoon split is so large he likely does not have to play every day to be worth the trade and the money. But where are those PAs coming from and how many is he going to get?

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.