ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox would have preferred to give first baseman Mike Napoli a few more days off before deciding whether to place him on the disabled list.
But Saturday’s 15-inning game against the Rays changed those plans. To supplement their bullpen, the decision was made to keep righthanded reliever Alex Wilson on the roster. So Napoli was placed on the 15-day disabled list to create room for the addition of righthander Brandon Workman, who will start on Sunday against the Rays.
Napoli was listed as having a sprained left ring finger. He dislocated that finger on April 15 in Chicago. Napoli has hit .238 since the injury with two home runs. Napoli also has a sore left hamstring and right calf.
“The fact is we needed to keep the added bullpen arm. Mike is still a few days away,” manager John Farrell said. “Giving him some ample time with the finger. … Hopefully this gives him that extended period of time to get past this in its entirety. Or at least to try to get further ahead of it.”
Rarely used backup infielder Jonathan Herrera has options. But with Xander Bogaerts coming out of Saturday’s game with a hamstring cramp, the Sox did not want to cut into their infield depth. Bogaerts is in the lineup against the Rays on Sunday.
The Sox originally planned to give Napoli one more day off then see if he could play against the Atlanta Braves on Monday.
“That was the preference. We’re not in that situation. We have to protect the fact that there’s a couple of guys in the bullpen [Burke Badenhop and Junichi Tazawa] that are unavailable given how much they’re worked of late,” Farrell said.
Farrell envisions Mike Carp getting most of the games at first base in Napoli’s absence. Wilson will remain on the roster until the bullpen is ready to go back to its usual seven-man alignment.
Also: David Ortiz returned to the lineup after appearing only as a pinch hitter on Saturday. Farrell said he would play first base in one of the two games in Atlanta. … Stephen Drew is scheduled to play seven innings at shortstop for Single A Greenville and DH on Monday. The Sox have not determined where he will play on Tuesday.