ARLINGTON -- Rangers catcher Mike Napoli entered Monday off to a 1-for-7 start and was batting eighth in the lineup for the second time in the first week of the season.
Napoli, who hit sixth during his postseason tear last season, may be off to a slow start, but that's not why he's batting eighth, manager Ron Washington said before Monday's game against Seattle. Napoli is hitting there to break up the left-handed hitters at the bottom of the lineup, David Murphy and Mitch Moreland.
Washington pointed out that Napoli is among several Rangers who haven't heated up in what is a small sampling of at-bats. Shortstop Elvis Andrus (1-for-12), third baseman Adrian Beltre (2-for-11) and outfielder Nelson Cruz (1-for-10) all had sub-par first series at the plate.
Washington isn't worried about any of them -- he said it takes 100 at-bats to get a good idea. And Napoli did drive in a run with his one hit.
"It's early," Washington said. "He has seven at-bats? He'll get happy with it. It may not be right now, but he'll get happy with it."