Despite being the teams home run leader, Napoli has been relegated to a bench role splitting time behind the plate and at first base. However, Napoli is the teams worst defensive catcher with pitchers posting a robust 5.06 ERA in 505 innings of work. With Jeff Mathis behind the plate, pitchers own a 3.95 ERA; with Bobby Wilson - 3.76 ERA.
"Yeah," said Napoli, who shares catching duties with Jeff Mathis and the first base job with Juan Rivera. "I'm having one of the best years of my career, and I'm not playing much. I guess I don't get it done on the defensive side. I have to clean things up."
If Napoli can greatly improve over at first base, he would give National league teams in need of a big bat an option. A team like the Nationals, who will likely lose Adam Dunn this off season, would benefit from Napoli who will be under team control through 2012.
The Tigers are in need of a catcher and may be intrigued by Napoli's team friendly contract.
One way or another, it looks like Napoli will be sporting a new uniform in 2011.