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Napoli Experiment Poses Other Kind of Problem



    Napoli Experiment Poses Other Kind of Problem
    Getty Images
    ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 14: Mike Napoli #25 of the Texas Rangers drops a fly ball in the fifth inning hit by Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros at Global Life Park in Arlington on September 14, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)

    Mike Napoli started Tuesday night's game against Detroit in left field, with the Tigers throwing young lefty Daniel Norris — as is customary now from Rangers manager Jeff Banister with a southpaw on the hill.

    Napoli was gone by the top of the third inning, giving way to outfielder Will Venable as a defensive replacement as the Rangers had a 6-4 lead to protect in a really meaningful game that was all but a must-win for Texas.

    Of course, the Tigers promptly tied the game 6-6 in that frame, resetting the game back to Square One, and removing Napoli's bat from the lineup with seven innings remaining and possibly three more at-bats for Napoli.

    Luckily, the Rangers made it through despite having Venable and his .190 batting average with zero power hitting fifth in the Rangers' lineup, but it was another flaw in Banister's experiment. But hey, if the Rangers keep winning with the lineup on the field, it's hard to fault him too much.