ARLINGTON -- Mike Napoli, who is sidelined with a strained left oblique muscle in his rib cage, began swinging with a regular bat on Friday. He took swings off a tee and against soft-toss pitching. He is hoping to take full batting practice by Sunday and go out on a medical rehabilitation assignment early next week.
"I feel good," said Napoli, who has been sidelined for two weeks and is eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday. "I don't feel it at all."
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he would like to see Napoli get at least 20 at-bats in the Minors before he is ready to return. He also wants to make sure Napoli is ready to catch nine innings before he is activated off the disabled list.
Rangers pitchers have a 2.73 ERA when Napoli is behind the plate. That's the lowest ERA for any catcher with at least 20 games caught in the American League.