SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Buster Posey has always made a point of catching up-and-coming prospects during spring bullpen sessions. When the pitchers lined up Tuesday morning at Scottsdale Stadium, Posey made sure he was standing in front of a 31-year-old right-hander.
With his spring limited by the World Baseball Classic, Posey wants to spend as much time as possible with new closer Mark Melancon. That process started during the first round of bullpen sessions, and Posey said he’ll also schedule a few Cactus League appearances with Melancon so they can discuss and tweak a specific plan on the mound.
“I’ve faced him and watched him a lot,” Posey said. “I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what he wants to do, but we’ll obviously sit down (this spring) and talk.”
Posey said the two will schedule around the WBC, and even if Team USA goes all the way to the championship, he’ll still find a way to work specifically with Melancon in the days leading up to the opener. As for the second day at Scottsdale Stadium, here are some other highlights …
FAMILIAR FACES: Ellis Burks and Cody Ross are in camp as guest instructors, and Ross — who lives in the area — said he’ll be around the whole time. Robb Nen, Jeff Kent, Rich Aurilia and others will be in camp later, and Barry Bonds is expected at some point.
Ross had that familiar smile going as he hit grounders. He’s only two years removed from his playing days, and you can bet he’ll get the itch once the position players all arrive later in the week.
“He told me he’d like to enter (the left field competition),” Bochy joked. “He’s changed his mind about coaching.”
LIGHTER SIDE: One of the many tedious drills involves pitchers standing up against an outfield wall and fielding three grounders from a coach. When Madison Bumgarner stepped in the first grounder came in too soft, so Bumgarner dropped his glove to his side and bounced it off his chest.
As for his main job, here's an Oscars-quality video of Bumgarner, Melancon and George Kontos doing baseball things.
CUETO UPDATE: The Giants still don’t have an exact arrival date for Johnny Cueto, who is tending to his father in the Dominican Republic, but Bochy said Cueto planned to visit the club’s facility there on Tuesday to throw a bullpen session. He has already done so several times to prepare for the WBC and coaches have watched video of the sessions. Still, Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti will meet with Cueto when he arrives to make sure he’s ready for a ramped-up spring.