Jerry Remy on D&C: 'We are getting close' to Mike Napoli being taken out of the lineup

August 14, 2013 - 7:31 am

NESN Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy joined Dennis & Callahand Wednesday morning to talk about Mike Napoli'€™s slump, Will Middlebrooks'€™s return and the future for Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason. Remy said that Napoli, who is 0-for-12 in his last 12 at-bats with nine strikeouts, could be getting close to the point where he would benefit from being benched for a few games. '€œI think we are getting close to that,'€ Remy said. '€œFor Napoli right now, he has had a terrible stretch. He has probably got 1,000 things going through his mind, he has got everybody telling him how to hit. When you get into that position, you just can'€™t do it. You get to a point where you'€™re trying different things during at-bats, you can see some of his at-bats where the swing looks totally different so he is experimenting in at-bats to try to get things done. When you get to a point like that, it is almost good to back away for a while. Take two or three days to step back and say, '€˜OK, let me look at some film where I was swinging the bat well, maybe with Texas a year ago or what I was doing differently then and what I am doing now. Let'€™s look at that and let'€™s work on that for a couple of days.'€™ '€œThe Red Sox are in a position right now where they can do it. They have got a comfortable four-game lead right now so you can experiment a little bit with [Mike] Carp at first base '€”who is going to do a nice job for you and going to give you quality at-bats and maybe give Napoli some time to get this thing figured out because they are going to need his bat down the stretch. He is capable of getting hot, but the fact is right now it is not happening for him and he has got to try and figure out some way to make it happen.'€ While Napoli has struggled as of late, Middlebrooks has had success since returning to the majors, and is now 5-for-12 with two RBIs. Remy said that he thinks Middlebrooks has worked out some things mentally and that he is in Boston to stay. '€œWhen you get sent down to the minor leagues, the first thing that happens to you is you are pissed off for two weeks and you don'€™t feel like you'€™re supposed to be there,'€ Remy said. '€œYou feel like you'€™re supposed to be a big leaguer. And then you sit down and you finally figure it out and you realize why you'€™re sent down, what they want you to work on and what they want you to get better at. That'€™s when you start focusing in and I think that is why it took such a long time for Middlebrooks. Do I think he is a big league third baseman? Yes I do. Do I think that he is going to have success in his career? Yes I do. What is the rest of the year going to look like? Hopefully it is going to look like last night '€œThe fact is that he is a major league player that just got caught into a funk earlier in the season and couldn'€™t find his way out of it. The other thing that you'€™ve got to learn is how to be a big leaguer. How to be able to put one game behind you and not focus on it and not dwell on it and move on to the next game and be productive the next game. I think a lot of these things that they sent him down to work on were not just physical things, but mental things to help you become a good major league ballplayer. I think that is what he had to deal with down there in Triple-A. Once you get past the point of being upset over the fact that you'€™re down there, then you start working at things that make you better and I think he did that. And he is a good kid. I wish him nothing but success and I think he is here to stay.'€ Ellsbury, who leads the Red Sox with a 4.8 WAR so far this season, continues to be among the best players in the league since struggling through the first 40 games of the season. Remy said that he is not sure if the Red Sox will spend the money to keep him this offseason though, because he will likely earn a lot of money with a long-term contract as a free agent this winter. '€œHe is going to be a real target for a lot of people,'€ Remy said. '€œHe does everything. We are seeing it now the second half of the season, the power has increased a little bit. I don'€™t think he is ever going to be a 30-home-run guy again, but if he is between a 15 and a 20 and does what he does the way he runs the bases and the way he plays center field, he is going to make a ton of money. Where that is going to be I have no idea. I don'€™t know if it is going to be here, I have no idea. [Scott] Boras is going to take him out there and they are going to set the price and whether the Red Sox feel that it is worth signing him to a long-term deal at that amount of money, it is going to have to be their decision. It is not going to be an easy one to make, but he is going to demand a lot of money and he is going to get a lot of money. What that number is I have no idea, but it is going to be a ton.'€ To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at