08/11/12 8:35 PM ET
Strained left quad forces Napoli to disabled list
Rangers call up catcher Martinez from Triple-A to back up Soto
By Todd Wills / Special to MLB.com
Napoli missed Tuesday's and Wednesday's games against the Red Sox in Boston because of soreness in his left quad before returning to the Rangers' lineup for Friday's series-opening loss to the Tigers, during which he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.Napoli has gone hitless in his past 14 at-bats with eight strikeouts and has batted .174 with 51 strikeouts over his past 41 games. Geovany Soto, who started in Napoli's absence on Tuesday and Wednesday, was back in the lineup, batting eighth, for Texas on Saturday.
Napoli met with manager Ron Washington on Saturday and they mutually decided that it was best for the All-Star catcher and the team for him to fully heal an injury that has nagged him since the last homestand.
"It's something that's been there all the time," Washington said. "We were hoping three days and treatment would help, but it didn't."
The Rangers will turn to recently acquired Soto to catch the majority of the games with Napoli out. Martinez, who will make a few starts, has spent the entire season in Round Rock, batting .270 with two home runs, 22 RBIs and 15 doubles. He was hitting at a .315 clip since the start of June.
Napoli is eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 26. He leads the team with 61 starts at catcher this season. Washington said the time off may help Napoli, who has struggled to find the form that made him one of the Rangers' best hitters last season in the second half and in the playoffs.
"He can take this time and fortunately he doesn't have to think about results," Washington said. "He can work and start feeling better about himself."
Washington said the injury has bothered Napoli when he tries to block home plate, preventing him from squaring up as runners slide into home.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.