Mathis out, Napoli in
Mathis has struggled in the big leagues
Mathis has struggled in the big leagues

Posted May 4, 2006


Looking to shake up their slumbering offense, the Angels sent catcher Jeff Mathis to Salt Lake and recalled Mike Napoli to take his place behind the plate.

Jeff Mathis, who earned a spot with the major league team after the Angels decided not to re-sign Bengie Molina, has split time behind the plate with Jose Molina, but neither player has produced in the lineup. Mathis hit just .103 in 39 at-bats, with his last hit coming in Minnessota on April 18. In addition, seven of nine runners have been successful against him behind the plate.

Mike Napoli, the Angels' 17th-round pick in the 2000 draft, has hit .244 in the Pacific Coast League so far in his first taste of Triple-A pitching. The right-handed slugger has three homers and six doubles through 21 games, but has struck out 29 times against just nine walks.

Napoli re-emereged as a prospect in 2004 when he slugged 29 homers at Rancho Cucamonga a year after he had reconstructive shoulder surgery. Last year, the Hollywood, Fla., native led the Angels' Double-A affiliate in the Texas League with 31 homers.


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