Angels sit Mike Napoli, who has a sore forearm
Mike Napoli was in the Angels' lineup at catcher Sunday for the first time in nearly two weeks. But just before the start of the game with the Tampa Bay Rays -- a game that ended in a 6-3 win for the Angels -- Manager Mike Scioscia scratched him, putting rookie Hank Conger behind the plate instead.
Scioscia said Napoli, who has been used mostly at first base lately, had some tightness in his right foreman that could have affected his throwing. It didn't bother his swing through; Napoli was on-deck to pinch-hit for Hideki Matsui in the ninth inning, but the inning ended before he could get into the game.
On Thursday, Scioscia pulled shortstop Erick Aybar out of the lineup with a strained muscle in his left leg. But after an MRI exam, the Angels have changed that, saying Aybar has a "possible sports hernia" that could sideline him for the rest of the season. He will be examined by a specialist in Dallas later this week.
Scioscia doesn't foresee the same kind of grim prognosis for Napoli.
"We'll see how his arm sets up," he said. "If he can get there, we'll see him behind the plate at some point before this year is out."
-- Kevin Baxter, reporting from St. Petersburg, Fla.
Photo: Mike Napoli. Credit: Mark Duncan / Associated Press