BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: Mike Napoli #25 of the Texas Rangers hits a two run homer in the second inning as Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox catches on April 17, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Every time Mike Napoli steps to the plate at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the chants of Nap-o-li echo through the stands. It doesn't resonate quite like it did back in September and October when he was raking because right now he's struggling pretty badly.
When the lineups were released for Wednesday's game in Baltimore that ended up being washed out, Napoli wasn't in the lineup against a left-handed starter, which is extremely rare given his propensity to mash left-handed pitching, as Ron Washington was likely just giving him a day to try to compose himself and get on the right track.
Napoli is hitting .148 on this current road trip and is off to a .237 start this season, a far cry from how Rangers fans remember him down the stretch last season when he was one of the best hitters in all of baseball.
But fear not, Rangers fans. Napoli is a notoriously slow starter and with his former team that gave up on him prior to the 2011 season coming to town this weekend, it might not be too long before he gets going.
Even if the Angels' visit doesn't spark a fire in Napoli's play, it'll be OK. Last season, his average dipped to an awful .176 clip in June of last year, progressively getting worse from April to May to June before he absolutely went off in July and was the best hitter in baseball after the all-star break, finishing the year with a .320 average, 30 home runs and 75 RBIs.