Mike Napoli still dealing with injured finger

Rob Bradford
May 23, 2014 - 7:37 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Mike Napoli isn'€™t using it as an excuse, but he also has come to grips with what has become an uncomfortable reality. More than a month since dislocating his left ring finger, Mike Napoli is still dealing being forced to deal with what was, at the time, a gruesome incident. "It still hurts," he said prior to the Red Sox' 1-0 loss to the Rays Friday night, in which he went 0-for-4 while stranding five runners. While Napoli said he has had no further X-rays after getting the initial diagnosis immediately following having to leave the Red Sox'€™ April 15 game in Chicago, the lingering effects continue to be somewhat alarming. The finger is still noticeably swollen, needing to be re-taped following each at-bat. "I'€™m trying to figure it out," said Napoli of having to adjust to the injury. "It'€™s tough. It hurts. But it'€™s not an excuse or anything. It'€™s something I can deal with, I guess. "It'€™s not like I really think about it when I'€™m hitting. Sometimes I feel it when I take a swing, but that'€™s after the facet. It'€™s up and down. Sometimes it feels all right and sometimes it hurts." Entering Friday night'€™s game, Napoli had managed a .781 OPS in the 27 games since the injury. He did, however, carry a higher on-base percentage (.398) than slugging percentage (.383) during the stretch, totaling just two home runs. Napoli explained that the swelling has remained thanks in part to the inability to keep the finger inactive. "Done it a couple of times. Things you'€™re not even thinking about," he explained. "Like the other day I said '€˜Good job'€™ to Badenhop, putting my glove out not even thinking about it and he bangs my finger. Everything I do, little things. I can be in the shower washing my hair and it might hurt. "Situations come and it'€™s just about getting the job done when you have the opportunity. I feel like I can go up there and give a tough at-bat every time. You have to make adjustments."