Gomez, Napoli hope to return after rehab game

Rangers sluggers happy to be pain-free following positive Minors outing

June 16th, 2017

FRISCO, Texas -- and Mike Napoli both say they feel great. They are also expecting -- or at least hoping-- to be activated off the disabled list on Friday night when the Rangers open a three-game series against the Mariners.

That was the feeling from both players after their appearances in Double-A Frisco's 6-4 loss to San Antonio on Thursday night. Gomez had the better night -- going 1-for-3 with a home run -- but both came away believing they are ready for Major League pitching.

"I feel like I'm good," said Napoli, who has been on the disabled list since June 4 with back spasms.

Napoli went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as Frisco's designated hitter in his first game action since June 3. He struck out in his first two at-bats, reached second when San Antonio center fielder Auston Bousfield dropped his fly ball in the third at-bat and grounded out to the pitcher his final time up.

But he said he wasn't worried about the results.

"I feel fine," Napoli said. "For me, it's about not feeling anything. I felt great. I've felt great leading up to this for the past four days. I'm taking ground balls and was able to run decently on the ball that was dropped."

Gomez has been sidelined since May 14 with a strained right hamstring, and this was his fourth game of his medical rehabilitation assignment. He was a combined 2-for-8 on Saturday and Sunday as the designated hitter for Triple-A Round Rock and was 0-for-3 on Wednesday in five innings as the Frisco center fielder.

He played seven innings in center on Thursday and said that should be enough.

"I feel really good," Gomez said. "I feel really good at the plate. I played 12 innings in the past two days, and my legs feel really good. I'm excited. I'm ready."

Gomez batted in the leadoff spot for Frisco and hit the third pitch he saw in the first inning from San Antonio starter Brett Kennedy over the right-center-field wall. He came up again in the third and lined out hard to third baseman Ty France. In the fifth, Gomez was hit by a pitch that barely brushed him, and he drove in a run in the seventh with a check-swing grounder to first.

He was also able to run down three fly balls and assorted base hits in center without any issues.

"Nothing is hurting," Gomez said. "I've just got to get my mind there … get my confidence back. But every day I feel better running the bases and fielding the ball."

RoughRider fans will still get to see a Major Leaguer on Friday. Cole Hamels, who is on the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle, is scheduled to throw 55-60 pitches in his first outing on rehab assignment.

Gomez and Napoli are planning on not being there.