Big test looms for Posey; status unclear for spring opener

February 28, 2012, 10:40 pm
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Buster Posey isnt certain when hison-again, off-again schedule will ramp up into everyday baseball work. But heknows that one major test looms for his reconstructed left ankle.He still hasnt run the bases all-out.Baserunning is a point of emphasis this spring for theGiants as they hope to take advantage of their athleticism. Most of theposition players were on the field working on getting jumps a full 90 minutes beforeTuesdays workout was due to start.But Posey wasnt among them. Although he has run the basesas part of his rehab work, he hasnt tried the quick turns and cuts that everyhitter must make when they line a double to the gap.

Yeah, that will be important, Posey told me. Just because of the pounding youre putting on it. Werehappy with how everything is feeling but youre right. That will be a big test.For now, Posey continues to catch bullpens and participatefully in workouts every other day. He was back in shinguards on Tuesday,receiving Barry Zito as the left-hander faced hitters in live batting practice. Then Posey took his swings against Guillermo Mota and Brian Burres, and hit a deep fly ball to the warning track.Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he continues to operateday-to-day with Posey, but the baserunning test is one his celebrated catcher will have to passbefore he could be cleared to start Saturdays Cactus League opener againstArizona.The Giants strongly prefer to have Posey behind the plate on Saturday, knowing the lift his presence would give the club. His absence, which would be viewed as a setback by others, could have the opposite effect. But they will not let emotion sway the decision if they decide Posey needs more time.
Bochy also remained non-committal on whether Tim Lincecumwould start on Saturday, saying he and pitching coach Dave Righetti might tweakthe schedule.