Even after tearing his right ACL and meniscus last April, Mike Napoli isn’t ready to close the book on his career, the veteran slugger tells The Athletic’s Zack Meisel (subscription required). “I’m going to train like I’m going to play next year,” Napoli said. “When it’s time to make that decision, I’ll make it, but I still really want to play. I don’t want to go out like that. I feel like I can still play. We’ll see. We’ll see what opportunities there will be and go from there.” Even if his chances at a 13th big league season seem remote, it wouldn’t be too surprising for a team to take a flier on Napoli on a minor league deal next spring, assuming he is healthy enough to play. If a comeback doesn’t materialize, Napoli said his next dream would be to become a Major League manager, and he believes he would be able to start his post-playing career as a coach somewhere in the Indians organization.
Here’s some more from around the league…
- The Cubs aren’t yet sure what their plans are for the trade deadline, GM Jed Hoyer told Patrick Mooney of The Athletic (subscription link). “What we may need on July 31 may be totally different than what we know sitting here right now,” Hoyer said. “I do think that right now the answers are here….Now, that might not be the answer in six weeks. But I think that’s the answer today.” Chicago already has quite a bit of depth and talent on the roster, plus Yu Darvish and Carl Edwards Jr. will provide reinforcements upon returning from the disabled list, though it would be surprising if the Cubs didn’t make at least one notable addition as they push for another postseason berth.
- Right-hander Tom Koehler has had a setback in his recovery from an AC strain and isn’t expected back until August, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (Twitter link) and other reporters. Koehler signed a one-year, $2MM deal with Los Angeles last winter but has yet to officially pitch for the club after suffering the injury during Spring Training. He initially hoped to return by the All-Star break but will now have to wait longer to properly don the Dodger blue.
- The Tigers are considering deploying a six-man rotation, as manager Ron Gardenhire hinted to MLive.com’s Evan Woodbery and other reporters. With Blaine Hardy pitching well, Detroit wants to find a way to keep him in the rotation when Francisco Liriano makes his expected return from the DL this week, plus the other starters could benefit from the lesser workload. “We’ve got some guys in there that could probably use extra days, take innings off our load. We started thinking we could probably do this. Not saying we’re going to, but we could,” Gardenhire said.