Posey won't play in spring opener


Posey won't play in spring opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy penciled out his lineup for Saturday's exhibition opener, and it includes most of the forecasted starters.

But not Buster Posey.

The Giants' cleanup-hitting catcher won't play on Saturday and might not make his Cactus League debut until the middle of next week, Bochy said. Trainers and club officials agreed that Posey's reconstructed left ankle needs more time, especially when it comes to sliding and baserunning.

"At this point, we feel he's better off (not playing)," Bochy said. "Could he go back there and catch? Yeah. But we want to make sure he's ready. We want to be 100 percent sure."

As recently as two days ago, Bochy had left open the possibility that Posey could start the opener. But he said he knew all along that the more realistic possibility would be to have his 2010 Rookie of the Year ready "by the second week or the back end of the first week" of exhibition games.

"We've been here 10 days, and you may think that's a long time," Bochy said. "But when a guy hasn't played in four, five months or longer, it takes time. But I will say this: He's real close. If we wanted to force the issue, we could."

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Posey hasn't tried any sliding drills yet. He ran bases a few weeks ago and said his ankle has been stiff and sore when introduced to new tests. But he is pleased with the progression and said he anticipates being game ready soon.

"I'm feeling great and everything is going well," Posey said. "We're sticking to the course and I don't think it'll be long before I get into games here."

Posey said he didn't see sliding as a major issue. He acknowledged the baserunning concern, though.

"That's definitely been the toughest thing so far, but there's been a lot of improvement," he said. "Any time I'm challenging my ankle to do something different, it responds better and better each time I do it. ... The first time I caught, there was stiffness. It for better each time I caught. We knew running bases would be one of the last things to do."

The first lineup of the spring often is chock full of hints as to which players are considered the ones to beat out for jobs. So it's telling that Aubrey Huff, and not Brandon Belt, will start at first base on Saturday, Bochy said.

Bochy plans to play Mike Fontenot at second base, Brandon Crawford at short, Pablo Sandoval at third, Melky Cabrera in left field, Angel Pagan in center and Nate Schierholtz in right. Chris Stewart will start at catcher; he'll receive Tim Lincecum, who is expected to throw just one inning.

Is Posey disappointed he won't be able to join his mates?

"There's no disappointment at all," Posey said. "Spring training is about being ready for the season. If I wasn't ready for the opener of the regular season, I'd be disappointed."

Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series


Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series

World Series ace Jon Lester is all set to start Game 1 for the Chicago Cubs.

Lester will be fully rested when he pitches Tuesday night at Cleveland. Corey Kluber will start for the Indians.

The 32-year-old lefty is 2-0 in three starts during this postseason, with wins over the Giants and Dodgers in the NL playoffs. He was 19-5 during the regular season.

Lester is 3-0 in three starts in the World Series with a sparkling 0.43 ERA. He helped the Boston Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon says Lester is "really, really in the moment" right now.


Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he will go with Kluber, an 18-ame winner during the regular season, in the opener on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA in his first postseason.

Francona has right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer's injured right pinkie heals over the next few days.

Bauer's start in the AL Championship Series lasted less than one inning after his pinkie began bleeding against Toronto. He injured his finger when he sliced it open while repairing a drone.

Also, injured starter Danny Salazar could be available against the Cubs. Salazar hasn't pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness but he's made major progress in the past week and could be on the World Series roster.

How Cubs beat Kershaw to move on to World Series

How Cubs beat Kershaw to move on to World Series

Two quick runs off the best pitcher on the planet on Saturday night afforded the Cubs exactly what they needed to snap a 71-year-old drought.

Already confident after consecutive offensive outbursts in the previous two games, a two-run first inning against Clayton Kershaw had Cubs hitters in a positive frame of mind.

They rode the surprising rally and a dominant performance by Kyle Hendricks to a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. The win earned the Cubs their first NL pennant since 1945 and on Tuesday night they’ll seek their first World Series title since 1908 when they face the Cleveland Indians in Game 1.

“It’s huge for the confidence, the positive momentum from LA, to carry over back home,” left fielder Ben Zobrist said. “Those were the biggest moments in the game early on to help everybody keep pushing and that we got this thing -- that we’re in charge of the game early. That’s a huge momentum builder.”

The Cubs did a little bit of everything in the first inning against Kershaw, who dominated them for seven scoreless frames in a 1-0 Dodgers victory in Game 2 on Sunday night. Some hitters took a more aggressive approach against the three-time NL Cy Young winner while others remained patient. The one constant throughout the 30-pitch frame was that Cubs hitters took advantage whenever Kershaw made a mistake.