John Farrell on Salk and Holley: Sox move Mike Napoli down in order

DJ Bean
August 14, 2013 - 11:04 am
Red Sox manager John Farrell said in his weekly conversation on Salk & Holley that he has informed the slumping Mike Napoli that he has been dropped in the lineup. Napoli, who has batted fifth for the Sox for the vast majority of the season but has hit sixth in the last five games, will bat seventh on Wednesday. With Napoli hitting seventh, Johnny Gomes will hit fifth, with Stephen Drew hitting sixth. "There was [a conversation] that just took place just a few minutes ago," Farrell said when asked how he has communicated with Napoli during his struggles. "We moved him down to the seven hole today, and we wanted him to know that we recognize he's grinding and he's going through a stretch where things haven't gone his way. We haven't lost confidence in him, and yet we feel like there have been opportunities that have presented themselves where he's come up in some big spots. "I mentioned to him today, we're going to put [him] down in the seven hole, that will put Gomes in the five hole behind [David] Ortiz, Drew's in the six hole. We still want to protect that right/lefty alternating in the lineup because we're going up against a team with three lefties in their bullpen, and we don't want to get exposed on side or the other. I just felt like as Mike is working through this, he's dropped down in the lineup and we may pick some spots throughout the course of a given week to get him off his feet and keep him as fresh as possible." Farrell said that Napoli was receptive to the move, with the manager reminding that all player "want to perform and they all want to contribute." Despite wanting to perform better than he has, Napoli was understanding enough to see that he was better off hitting lower in the lineup until he works his way out of his slump. "Mike's aware of it. He's a smart guy," Farrell said. "He's been around a while, and while it may be disappointing initially, his comments back to me were, 'Listen. All I want to do is win, and whatever you feel is tyne right setup or right combination, I'm on board.' From my standpoint, you couldn't ask for any better response, honestly." For more on the Red Sox, visit