May 10, 2010, 8:36 AM EDT
I understand the pickle Brian Sabean is in. He has a top prospect in Buster Posey hitting .345 down in Fresno. Calling him up, however, risks making him arbitration eligible a year earlier than he otherwise might be, and the owners clearly don’t want that, what with having screwed that whole process up with Tim Lincecum. The media asks when they’re going to see Posey every day, but you can’t just say “we’re waiting until June for service time reasons,” because it (a) looks cheap; and (b) may not make Major League Baseball or the union happy.
So what to do? Why, you dump on minor league baseball, that’s what:
“Triple-A baseball isn’t very
good,” Sabean said. “I’m going to tell you that right now. Especially
from a pitching standpoint. Anybody who can pitch is in the big
That was Sabean’s response when asked why Posey hitting .345 hasn’t earned him a promotion. I’m sure his AAA pitchers — including top prospect Madison Bumgarner — appreciate that. I’m sure Posey appreciates that. I’m sure the front office for the Fresno Grizzlies and all of the people who buy tickets to see them appreciate that.
The thing is, Sabean doesn’t even need to go there. He’s actually getting decent production from his catching combo right now, with Bengie Molina hitting .333/.402/.457 and Eli Whiteside hitting the cover off the ball in limited play. Will it last? Oh, heck no, but at the moment it provides Sabean plenty of cover to say “we really don’t need help behind the plate right now” and have it sound eminently plausible.
But instead he dumps on his prospect and his farm team. I just don’t get that. Of course, there are a lot of things about Brian Sabean’s tenure in San Francisco I don’t get. Mostly how it’s lasted this long.
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