Mike Napoli

Red Sox injury updates: Mike Napoli out 'couple of days,' Shane Victorino targeting at-bats early next week

Ryan Hannable
April 28, 2015 - 12:32 pm

First baseman Mike Napoli missed Monday's game with the Blue Jays with an illness, and that illness will keep him out at least a few more days. Manager John Farrell said prior to Tuesday's game Napoli would be out "probably next couple of days." His illness is contagious, so the team is being careful. Daniel Nava has started at first base both nights in Napoli's absence. After being placed on the disabled list April 25 with a hamstring injury, Shane Victorino is taking the steps needed to make a return as soon as next weekend. He's eligible to return next Friday (May 8) in Toronto. "Vic's running will increase with intensity today," said Farrell. "Would anticipate that he continues to ramp up through the weekend and hopefully early next week would be able to go out and get some at-bats." The only issue of coming back next Friday is playing on the new artificial turf in Toronto for a weekend series, which has caused some issues to some players already. Farrell said the team will monitor the situation and know more as next Friday gets closer. "The reports coming out of teams that have gone through there have been -- it's a new turf. It's extremely long, the blade of artificial grass, the depth of the crushed rubber is deep," Farrell said. "It looks like some guys have had some negative effects on their legs after playing up there. Whether or not Vic is ready to be activated, next Friday is the day, we'll determine that when we get closer to it." OTHER RED SOX NOTES -- Rusney Castillo will indeed serve as Pawtucket's designated hitter on Wednesday -- his first action since being placed on the minor league disabled list after suffering a shoulder injury diving for a ball April 11. -- Closer Koji Uehara looked much better Monday night earning the win than he did when he allowed the game-winning home run Saturday night in Baltimore. His fastball had much more life to it (88 mph), which allowed for his splitter to be much more effective. Uehara struck out two of the three batters in the ninth to earn the win. Much has been made of Uehara's lack of velocity, but the closer didn't have much of a spring -- pitching in only three games because of a hamstring injury, and just one rehab outing before debuting April 14. Farrell said it's not wrong to say he's still ramping back up. "I can't say that he's not," Farrell said. "You can't replace game action, game intensity. He was unable to get more than three appearances in spring training with that. Don't want to make excuses, but he's certainly benefiting by time on the mound in game action and reaching his game speed and intensity more frequently." Farrell said there are no hesitations using him Tuesday on back-to-back days.