Napoli set for Double-A rehab assignment

Rangers hopeful first baseman can return this weekend

June 14th, 2017

HOUSTON -- Mike Napoli, who is recovering from a lower back strain, will be the designated hitter for Double-A Frisco on Thursday, when the Rangers' first baseman starts a rehab assignment.

If all goes well, Napoli could rejoin the club for the upcoming homestand.

"The one thing I'll rely on is how he feels, and then what he tells me, what the medical people tell him," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of the 35-year-old slugger. "A guy with experience like that, you trust what they tell you.

"Typically, it doesn't take those guys [veterans] a lot of time, at-bats. As long as he's healthy and feels good with his timing, the body feels good, it's not out of the realm of possibility to see him this weekend."

After an off-day Thursday, the Rangers are at Globe Life Park on Friday to open a three-game series with Seattle.

Napoli was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 4.

In his third stint with Texas, Napoli is batting .192 with 11 home runs and 25 RBIs in 51 games.

Banister also announced that left-hander Cole Hamels, who has been on the DL retroactive to April 30 with a right oblique strain, could make a rehab start on Friday.