First baseman Mike Napoli ran the bases for a second time yesterday and remains on track to make his Red Sox debut tomorrow.
Napoli has taken things slowly since an offseason physical revealed a degenerative hip condition. The hip does not bother Napoli, but he did enter camp worried about conditioning.
“I think it was just my muscles in my legs, just getting them in shape,” he said in Fort Myers. “I haven’t thought once about my hips in anything I’ve done because I’ve never felt anything. So for me to worry about my hips hurting when they haven’t is just, it doesn’t bother me. I’m just worrying about getting my quads and hamstrings and everything in shape. I hadn’t run in two months.”

Napoli has run in a pool to lessen the impact on his joints, but keep his legs fresh. He believes it has worked, and he’s raring to go.
“Every time I’m watching a game I want to be out there playing,” Napoli said. “But it’s just part of the process, something I’ve got to do. It’s something I’ve accepted and just part of the process.”
Manager John Farrell said he’s looking forward to seeing the longtime catcher play, especially at first base.
“Just in talking with him, I know it’s still an ongoing process and he’s gaining a little bit more comfort with it. It’s probably as much the cuts and relays as it is fielding a ground ball,” Farrell said. “By his own admission, he’s talked about when he was with Texas or sparingly with the Angels, he was put out there knowing he’s a catcher first and was put out there on occasion. In this case, where he’s been able to go through the drillwork and had a chance to talk at length with (coach Brian Butterfield), that’s put a lot of those unknowns at ease with him.
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