Posey's workload about to increase

March 20, 2012, 11:36 pm
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Buster Posey pounced on a bunt in front of the plate, he hit a well struck sacrifice fly, he singled up the middle and he kept up his stamina in a spring-high six innings behind the plate.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy liked what he saw Tuesday. He wants to see more.

"Watching him catch and throw and swing the bat, he's not showing any effects from his surgery," said Bochy, after a 4-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields. "The way he pounced on that bunt ... he's good to go. Buster's fine.

"We'll start cranking it up a little bit here."

Posey still hasn't caught on consecutive days and the Giants aren't ready to test him yet. He'll start as the designated hitter Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear, Bochy said.

But those back-to-back starts are in his near future as the Giants try to gauge how many games he'll be able to catch this season. Head trainer Dave Groeschner has told Posey to expect bouts of soreness all season as he plays on his surgically repaired left ankle; he tore three ligaments and broke his fibula in a home-plate collision May 25.

Posey hung tough against Trevor Bauer, the Diamondbacks' top pitching prospect and the third overall pick last June. He hit a loud sacrifice fly in the first inning on a fastball in the upper 90s.

Posey also worked a few long innings as he coaxed Barry Zito through some command issues; Zito walked four and allowed seven hits but yielded just three runs in five innings.

Arizona won in the ninth when A.J. Pollock drizzled a pitch from minor league left-hander Wilmin Rodriguez into the left field stands.