Mike Napoli Out for Season with Knee Injury; Diagnosed with Torn ACL, Meniscus

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 17:  Mike Napoli #32 of the Cleveland Indians steps up to the batter's box during an exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs at Cashman Field on March 17, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by David J. Becker/Getty Images)
David J. Becker/Getty Images

Cleveland Indians first baseman Mike Napoli suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee while playing for the Columbus Clippers, the team's Triple-A affiliate, Tuesday night.

The Indians announced Friday that Napoli will undergo season-ending surgery. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com noted the slugger faces a 10-to-14-month recovery.

Napoli signed a minor league contract with the Tribe in February. He started the season in Triple-A after posting a .250/.314/.469 triple-slash line with two home runs in 13 games during spring training.

The 36-year-old Florida native struggled in Columbus before the injury. He had one hit, a homer, in 24 at-bats (.042 average) across eight appearances.

Given the severity of the injury, it could mark the end of his playing career. Indians manager Terry Francona discussed that possibility Wednesday, per Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com.

"I told him that I believe things happen for a reason," Francona said. "Who knows this may start him on the second journey of his career. He was an impact player in the game and my guess is he can impact the game in another way."

Napoli shined with the Indians in 2016 when he smashed a career-high 34 homers and helped lead the club to a World Series berth. He tallied 29 longballs for the Texas Rangers last year, but his average plummeted to a career-low .193.

His career accolades include winning a World Series title with the Boston Red Sox in 2013 and earning his only All-Star Game selection as a member of the Rangers in 2012.

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