The Texas Rangers have had an injury problem this season. Mike Napoli is the latest player added to that list. He left Saturday’s game against Houston with back spasms. Napoli had appeared at the plate just once. After striking out in the second inning, he ended up leaving the game in the fourth inning. Ryan Rua entered the game for Napoli, shifting Joey Gallo from left field to first base.
Mike Napoli missed last Monday’s game, due to back tightness. It appears to be an ongoing issue. The lineups for today’s game have been released. Napoli will be on the bench. The team has stated that Napoli will continue to be evaluated. More information on his injury situation is to follow.
The Texas Rangers were excited to have Napoli return to the team. However, the 35-year-old infielder has been struggling this season. Coming into Saturday’s game against the division-leading Houston Astros, Napoli had previously gone 1 for 11. His batting average was sitting at .192. Napoli current sits with .262 on-base percentage, and a -0.4 WAR.
The injury to Napoli raises a big question for the Texas Rangers organization. Is it time to call up Ronald Guzman?
Guzman is currently with Triple-A Round Rock. He is a home-grown first baseman, who has had a lot of success. He is currently hitting a .294 average, with an on-base percentage of .360. Guzman has five home runs and 23 RBIs so far this season. Defensively, he seems just as sound. The 22-year-old lefty has a fielding percentage of .993.
The Rangers have kept Guzman at the Triple-A level to ensure he gets everyday reps. This consistently builds and improves players, as they prepare for their Major League Baseball careers. With the club’s options at first base not doing so well, it may be time to consider making Ronald Guzman the new Rangers first baseman.