Mike Napoli faces a long road ahead if he wants to continue his major league career.
The veteran slugger suffered a torn right ACL and meniscus in a minor league game earlier this week, the Indians announced Friday. He will need season-ending surgery and is looking at around a year on the shelf should he choose to return.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) April 20, 2018
Napoli signed a minor league contract with the Indians two weeks into spring training and was off to a miserable start at Triple-A Columbus before he got hurt Tuesday night. The 36-year-old hit a grand slam in the season opener April 6 but hasn’t had a hit since, resulting in a .042 batting average this season. He had 11 strikeouts in 31 plate appearances.
Napoli has 267 home runs in the majors and was an All-Star in 2012 but was among many veteran hitters unable to secure a big-league contract during the offseason. Cleveland brought him back to the organization in hopes that he might be able to recapture some of the magic that helped lead the Indians to the World Series in 2016 (34 homers, .800 OPS), but it won’t happen this year.
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