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Buster Posey will not be the Giants' Opening Day Catcher

Dec 5, 2009, 9:40 AM EDT

If there’s a team that has less regard for young talent than the Giants, I’ve yet to see it:

The Giants’ brass met several times this week in preparation of the
winter meetings, which begin Monday in Indianapolis, and the feeling
was Posey’s not quite ready to play everyday in the big leagues,
meaning the Giants will need a buffer, someone to catch regularly until
Posey emerges for good.

General manager Brian Sabean said the front office had a “raging
debate” over whether Posey would be the No. 1 catcher, adding, “We came
to the overall conclusion it would be a tall order to ask him to do
that. He just hasn’t played a lot.”

It’s not that Sabean is into silly service time shenanigans either. If that were the case they never would have called Posey up last September (to sit on the bench, natch) and Tim Lincecum would have stayed down longer and wouldn’t be a Super Two now.  No, this is just a matter of the Giants simply not trusting young players.  Lincecum was a supernatural talent, so he forced his way in.  Mere above average kids like Posey need not apply, however.

The NL West is eminently winnable next year. The difference between the Giants winning it and losing it will likely come down to a small handful of games and a small handful of moves.  By not giving Posey the job, I think they’re already a game and a move down.

  1. Mark Runsvold - Dec 5, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    Sean Smith projects Posey’s bat to be six runs below average next year, which doesn’t sound like much until you remember the position he plays. No catcher left on the market figures to do much better. So the Giants are opting once again to buy production on the free-agent market that they already have for league minimum. Great job, everybody.

  2. Steve Nixon - Dec 5, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    I agree, for obvious reasons, that Brian Sabean has minimal regard for young talent. However, in Buster Posey’s case, I think this makes some sense. In his limited time with the big league team, Posey really didn’t show anything with the bat. He will someday, but it isn’t there yet. If he has to adjust to hitting on the major league level while learning to catch a two-time Cy Young winner, another Cy Young quality pitcher, and the rest of a very strong staff, isn’t that a lot to ask of a guy who is only a year out of college?
    Also, if you read a little farther in Sabean’s comments he says that the Giants aren’t talking multi-year deals with any catchers and implies that whoever the Giants do sign is going to have to deal with the reality that they might have to give up the starting job after a couple of months. To me, that says that the Giants may be bringing Posey up soon.

  3. The Rabbit - Dec 5, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    One week at the new job and you are already working weekends. Hope you negotiated a Dickens deal.
    “Sabean said the front office had a ‘raging debate’ over whether Posey would be the No. 1 catcher.” It would be interesting to find out if Bochy was spearheading the anti-Posey position.
    I read several articles/blogs in September discussing the fact that Bochy was using Whiteside even in blowouts rather than allowing Posey to get major league experience. There were a few writers that suggested that Bochy was projecting his “experience” (Read: lack of respect/regard) as a mediocre career backup catcher to adversely affect the Giants and Posey’s career.
    If memory serves, it was The McCovey Chronicles, Yahoo’s Giants blog, that had the most compelling argument for this point of view.
    I wouldn’t be concerned about Posey’s ML batting stats. IMHO, it takes consistent playing time for most players to show what they can do at that level. It took Matt Wieters two months before he started to live up to his billing as the “Second Coming” in Baltimore. I’ll also note that a player as good as Mark Teixiera was floating around the Mendoza line for the first 5-6 weeks of this past season.
    Had Posey had stellar stats in his few at bats, I wouldn’t have been impressed, either. It’s the rare player that doesn’t regress to the mean.

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