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2013 World Series: Boston Red Sox considering Mike Napoli at third base

The first baseman was seen taking grounders at the hot corner during batting practice on Saturday.

Napoli is already doing his best Kevin Youkilis impression beard-wise; will he play Youk's old position as well?
Napoli is already doing his best Kevin Youkilis impression beard-wise; will he play Youk's old position as well?
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox are considering using Mike Napoli at third base now that the World Series has shifted to a National League ballpark. Napoli has been playing first base throughout the playoffs, but, with the series moving to Busch Stadium, regular designated hitter David Ortiz will man first base instead. If manager John Farrell wants to keep Napoli's bat in the lineup, then the hot corner could be an option.

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Napoli has played 506 games in his major league career, and the only positions he has played at that level have been catcher, first base, and DH, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. He did appear at third base in three games in the minor leagues, however, and recorded a putout and three assists in four chances. In this year's playoffs, Napoli is 9-for-40 (.225/.326/.475) with a pair of home runs.

Although Napoli's potential position change is being widely reported, it is far from a sure thing that it will happen in a game. Farrell has remained non-committal, telling Fox's Ken Rosenthal that "It's being thought of," and stating to Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram: "Not tonight, but it's an option." Farrell also addressed the issue on MLB Network Radio, but would only hint that "we're open to anything."

Napoli is more likely to appear in the field as a late-inning defensive replacement for David Ortiz, if the Red Sox have a lead and Ortiz's spot in the order isn't likely to come up again. Xander Bogaerts is starting at third base in Game 3 on Saturday.

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