Could third base be in Buster Posey's future?

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Could third base be in Buster Posey's future?

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.

Matt Williams joins NBC Sports Bay Area's Giants TV coverage

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AP

Matt Williams joins NBC Sports Bay Area's Giants TV coverage

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It has been 30 years since Matt Williams broke into the big leagues with the Giants, and he has been back many times in recent seasons as an opposing player, coach and manager. When the Giants play their home opener on April 10, Williams will once again be affiliated with them, this time in a new role. 

Williams will join NBC Sports Bay Area this season as a studio analyst for the pre- and post-game shows, which are expanding to one hour. After spending most of the last two decades in various on and off-field roles for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Williams is coming full circle with the Giants. 

“It feels like that, doesn’t it?” he said. “I love coaching and managing, but I also enjoy talking about the game and experiencing the game from that angle, which is a lot of fun. I really enjoy it. You get to talk about the intricacies of the game.”

Williams knows it inside and out, and not just because he played 17 seasons for the Giants, Diamondbacks and Indians. He has coached first and third base for the Diamondbacks, most recently during the 2016 season. When the organization retooled the front office in the offseason, changes were made to the coaching staff. Williams has also had a stint as a manager, doing two years with the Washington Nationals. He went 179-145, winning the NL Manager of the Year Award in 2014, when the Giants knocked the Nationals out of the postseason in the NLDS. 

Williams is best known in San Francisco for 10 strong years on the field. He hit 378 career home runs, 247 of them with the Giants. Williams is a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger winner and four-time Gold Glove winner, and he finished in the top five in the MVP voting in 1994 and 1999. While Williams was gone by the time a title drought was broken, he does have a ring to wear around the ballpark. He batted .275 with 16 homers for the champion Diamondbacks in 2001. 

Williams’ time in Arizona also included color commentary for their television and radio broadcasts, and he said he’s looking forward to working with former Giants players he has coached against, and fellow former coach Tim Flannery, who was an NL West rival in the late 1980s. 

“During the offseason, this is always one of my favorite cities to visit,” he said. “It’s home. I’ve been in the Bay Area practically my whole life. It’s a fantastic atmosphere in the ballpark with a great fan base, and the Giants’ recent success has been phenomenal.” 

The Giants plan on that success carrying over into the odd year, and one of the best infielders in franchise history will be along for the ride. 

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

Editor's Note: The above video was recorded following Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012.

Gregor Blanco's bid to make the Arizona Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster is over.

The former Giants outfielder was released on Monday, Arizona announced.

Blanco had been dealing with an oblique injury and had played since March 21.

In 14 Cactus League games, Blanco went 9-for-40 (.225) with one double and three triples.

Blanco spent five years with the Giants and was part of the World Series winning teams in 2012 and 2014. During his time in San Francisco, the 33-year-old hit .259/.338/.360 with 78 doubles, 24 triples and 157 RBI in 649 games.

The D'backs signed Blanco to a minor league deal in January.