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Monday, April 22, 2013

Mike Napoli & Andrew Bailey Named American League Co-Players Of The Week

In their 12-6 start to 2013, two of the Red Sox' best players have been first baseman Mike Napoli and reliever Andrew Bailey. For their efforts last week, they shared the American League Co-Players of the Week. It's the third time in Red Sox history that a pair of teammates have received the honor: Mike Lowell and David Ortiz (August 2007) plus Pedro Martinez and Trot Nixon (July 2002) were the others.

Napoli has been crushing it (3 homers, 21 RBIs, 21 hits, 9 doubles, 10 runs, .276 AVG/.313 OBP/.539 SLG) batting fifth in Boston's lineup. He was 10-for-29 (.345) last week with five doubles, a triple, homer and 10 RBIs in seven games. The highlight for him had to be the walk-off double that scored Dustin Pedroia on Patriot's Day as the Red Sox beat the Rays 3-2. That was the third walk-off hit of Napoli's MLB career and ironically, it gave Bailey his first win of the season.

With Joel Hanrahan struggling then going on the DL with a hamstring injury, Bailey has been great as the fill-in closer (why the Red Sox traded for him before last season). Whenever Hanrahan returns, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see their roles reversed.

In five appearances last week (five innings), Bailey was 1-0 with three saves, eight strikeouts and one walk. In 10 appearances this season (he started out as the set-up man for Hanrahan), Bailey has four holds, 15 strikeouts, a 1.93 ERA and 0.86 WHIP.

For the Red Sox to keep their lead in the AL East and continue to play good baseball, they'll need Napoli and Bailey to have more weeks like that.

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