Mike Napoli's nightmarish season

Published May. 4, 2015 11:04 a.m. ET

The good news? Mike Napoli hit a home run Sunday night.

The bad news? Just about everything else.

This spring was supposed to be filled with good news about Napoli. Remember all those stories in March. Here's just one sample, from MLB.com:

"It was probably one of the worst things I've ever done, to tell you the truth," said Napoli at the Red Sox Winter Weekend event. "They broke my upper and lower jaw, moved it forward and almost doubled my airway space. But yeah, I spent two days in the ICU after. I mean, it was 10 days of just pain."


Whether it is doing stuff around the house or even doing his winter work in the cage, Napoli now feels more energized than he has in years.

"Before, when I was doing stuff around the cage, I was so lazy and tired, I didn't even want to pick up the balls," said Napoli. "Now, I finish hitting and I drop my bat and I'm running around picking up all the balls. It's been a tough offseason, but I think it's worth it."

It wasn't unreasonable to figure that Napoli, already a really good hitter, would be even better this season. You know, now that he'd be able to actually sleep. And dream. And take batting practice.

He hasn't been better. He's batting .167 with two home runs. His numbers are way, way down from last season. Which were way down from the season before.

There's no doubt that Napoli's hit in some bad luck; you can't bat .167 without some bad luck. But Napoli's line-drive percentage is way, way down from last season. Which was down from the season before.

The Red Sox' other option here was supposed to be Allen Craig. He's batting .135 (and .130 since joining the Red Sox last summer). They've got plenty of outfielders, but suddenly first base seems like one hot mess.