Oct 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli (12) warms up during batting practice prior to game two of the MLB baseball World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

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

The Boston Red Sox knew once they advanced to the 2013 World Series, they’ve have to deal with the loss of their designated hitter. Who exactly would be riding the pine though would be up for discussion.

The Red Sox certainly didn’t want to lose David Ortiz, who’s not only been the best offensive player in the series so far (for either squad), but is among the elites in postseason history.

That forced the Red Sox to insert Ortiz into the starting lineup for Game 3, removing normal first baseman Mike Napoli from the starting lineup.

It’s a scenario that may only last a game though as Napoli has been spotted taking ground balls at third base and could draw a start there in Game 4 and/or Game 5:

Mike Napoli is taking grounders at third base in batting practice.

While adding Napoli back to the lineup is an obvious offensive improvement, how it will alter the defense remains to be seen. Napoli has never played a Major League game at the hot corner, something the Cardinals could attempt to exploit come Game 4 and/or Game 5.

Tags: Boston Red Sox Mike Napoli World Series 2013

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