Lights, Camera, Action!
So begins the Buster Posey Era in San Francisco. Sort of. According to the higher-ups, the plan is to start Posey five times a week with a bulk of his time coming at first base, moving Aubrey Huff to left, and leaving the slumping Bengie Molina behind the plate.
While there is a plan to let Posey spell Molina occasionally, this plan is counter-intuitive in so many ways. The front office didn’t give Posey the catching job this offseason because according to their evaluation was that he needed more experience catching Major League pitching. So naturally, having him not catch Major League pitching upon his call-up is a good solution to this problem.
Even so, the extra offense certainly can’t hurt. We just have to hope that this won’t stunt Posey’s development as a catcher, because frankly he has more value behind the plate than he does as a corner infielder. What can we expect from Posey initially? I’d say the best-case scenario is a performance similar to what Matt Wieters managed when he was first called up (.282/.340/.412). Keep in mind that Wieters was dubbed by pundits as the love-child of Mark Teixeira and Mike Piazza in terms of his hitting ability. Amidst the hype, he didn’t set the world on fire, namely because there’s always going to be a learning curve. Even Tim Lincecum struggled in his first season.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that exposing Posey to big league pitching as early as possible can only help his development as a hitter. By starting the learning curve earlier for a guy who’s hit at every level, the hope is to accelerate his comfort level to a point to where he can become a major contributor as soon as humanly possible. The downside here though is that he’ll be pushing Nate Schierholtz out of the lineup. Both Molina and Aaron Rowand, two guys who are having pretty rough seasons offensively, are going to remain in the lineup while we bench Schierholtz’ line of .291/.366/.409 in favor of Rowand’s .231/.265/.408.
With Posey on board now, there’s more big(ish) news in Giantsworld today, as the Giants inked outfielder Pat Burrell to a minor league deal today. Given the price tag, this comes off as a pretty solid pick-up. There’s not a whole lot lost if Burrell flops, while there’s a lot to be gained by an offensive reawakening. Word on the street is that he’ll report to Fresno while the organization evaluates his situation.
A lot of action today, and a lot to anticipate right now. Here’s hoping that Buster gets in the starting lineup ASAP.