Napoli has no issues with ankle in workout
SURPRISE, Ariz. — The best news the Rangers got out of Thursday’s workout had nothing to do with Yu Darvish.
Texas catcher Mike Napoli, who has been slowed by a left ankle injury suffered in Game 6 of the World Series, went through every drill in practice and had no problems with the ankle.
“It felt good,” Napoli said. “I really didn’t know how I’d feel in spikes squatting down catching somebody. I didn’t feel anything and I was able to get down low and move side to side.”
Napoli was eager to get to work Thursday and part of the reason was he wanted to catch Darvish. He did that, catching both his bullpen session and his batting practice outing. He also caught other pitchers too.
“I’ll go day-by-day,” Napoli said. “I caught my first one and it felt good so I kept going.”
MENDONCA CATCHES TOO
Napoli wasn’t the only Texas catcher eager to get some work in Thursday.
Tommy Mendonca, who is making the transition from third base to catcher this spring, handled his biggest workload Thursday. He was up for the challenge.
“It’s expected,” Mendonca said. “I knew this was going to happen. I’m not going to steer clear of it or avoid it. It’s come a long way since Day 1. I’m excited to start getting in with the hitters.”
Mendonca said his body was sore from crouching early on but he’s been able to adjust. One of the biggest adjustments now is being behind the plate with players swinging bats. It will give him a new perspective on the game.
“That’s going to be another step,” he said. “It’s one of those things where you can’t work around. It’s going to happen every day.”
THE OTHER NO. 11
Yu Darvish wasn’t the only player wearing No. 11 at Rangers camp Thursday. Jurickson Profar, who is in camp with the minor leaguers, is also sporting No. 11.
The two 11s squared off in batting practice with Profar choosing to track pitches instead of swing. Profar’s well aware of Darvish’s jersey number.
“Since he signed with Texas I saw that,” Profar said. “I knew he was going to be No. 11 in spring training. It was a good thing. I hope he knows too we’re wearing the same number.”