LOS ANGELES Giants manager Bruce Bochy made an interestingcomment when discussing Buster Poseys athleticism and his above average defense at first base despite little experience.
I think he could play third, Bochy said. Thats howathletic I think he is.
File away that thought. Its not the first time Ive heardit, either. Bochy isnt alone among scouts and baseball officials, some within the Giants organization, who believePosey would have enough range, reaction skills and certainly enough armstrength to be a solid third baseman. That might be a handy option to keep inmind in future seasons if fitness remains an issue for Pablo Sandoval.
But thats a discussion to pick up again at the wintermeetings. For now, the important information is this: The crick in the neckthat Posey felt in the eighth inning Monday night wasnt serious enough to keephim out of Tuesdays lineup.
Posey is batting cleanup and playing first base against theLos Angeles Dodgers.
Bochy said he planned to watch Poseycarefully in batting practice, and if his cleanup hitter felt anything, theteam would scratch him. So far, so good.
Posey felt a twinge Monday night when he hit the first basebag while making a safe call with his arms. So perhaps his days providinghelpful pantomime to umpires are at an end.
Bochy didnt say it outright, but he made it sound as if Posey originally would have caught Barry Zito a signthat they would form a battery in a potential playoff start. Hector Sanchez hasbeen Zitos personal catcher for most of the season.
Zito and Posey, sure, no problem, Bochy said. And if Ifeel its necessary, hell catch Timmy (Lincecum).
The manager quickly followed by saying that Hector Sanchez morethan likely would catch Lincecum, though.
Bochy dropped one other hint about his postseason rotation,saying Zito wouldnt be on the same 75-pitch limit that the club imposed on Matt Cain a nightearlier. Cain will start Game 1 on Saturday on regular rest. The fact Zito wontbe limited in his final regular-season start suggests strongly that he would not bethe choice to start Game 2 on Sunday.
Bochy still isnt ready to announce the Game 2 starter, butthe expectation is that itll be Madison Bumgarner followed by Lincecum in Game3. If the Giants face elimination entering Game 4, the Giants could bring backCain on short rest. Or they could hand the ball to Zito. That would leave RyanVogelsong, who has more relief experience, as the choice to back up bothLincecum and Zito (even Cain, too) if they get into early trouble. With Lincecum and Zito especially, you can usually tell within the first dozen pitches whether they're on or not.