Posey to catch Sunday, questionable for spring opener

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Posey to catch Sunday, questionable for spring opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants have scheduled Buster Posey to catch a couple of pitchers during Sundays first workout. Manager Bruce Bochy wouldnt rule out starting Posey behind the plate for the clubs first exhibition game March 3, either.But symbolism will give way to pragmatism, Bochy said.The Giants plan to take it very, very slow with Posey while their all-important leader, catcher and cleanup hitter eases his way back following devastating left ankle and leg injuries he sustained in a home-plate collision May 25.
Ill sit down with Buster today or early tomorrow, said Bochy on Saturday, as pitchers and catchers reported to Scottsdale Stadium. Hes good to go and hes swinging the bat. Hes catching fine. But well probably take it easy on him early and pick up the pace the second week (of games).That includes plenty of rest days. Although catchers usually receive multiple bullpen sessions each day early in camp, Posey is likely to rest on Monday after catching on Sunday. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are on the list to throw Sunday; rehabbing closer Brian Wilson is on the list to throw Monday. Bochy knows to expect resistance from Posey, who is determined to catch full-time.He has already (resisted), to be honest, Bochy said. Hes set on catching right away. (But) you cant answer the question of how hell bounce back or how resilient hell be after being on the field a couple hours. Well have to keep a watchful eye.The Giants are assuming that Poseys catching workload will need to be scaled back on some level this season; they have talked about playing Posey at first base as a means to keep his valuable bat in the lineup on days he doesnt catch.But Bochy said the club wouldnt wear him out with defensive drills at first base.Early here, hell be concentrating on catching, Bochy said. Were not going to be pounding ground balls at him.Bochy is already ruling out second baseman Freddy Sanchez and Brian Wilson for the first week of exhibition games (although Sanchez is likely to be used as a designated hitter), the manager wont make the same concession with Posey.But he wont come out of the chute catching line we normally do, Bochy said. The second week of games, itll pick up. Theres a breaking in period here. We like where hes at, but youve got to see how hell respond.Everyone knows it: Poseys recovery is the most significant storyline for the Giants this spring and its integral to their chances to reestablish themselves in the NL West. Its no surprise that a large number of national media members have requested time with him after Sundays workout. The Giants arranged a news conference setting to deal with the requests.Maybe it wont be on par with the annual State of Barry news events. But Posey is every bit as important to the Giants as Barry Bonds used to be.

Bumgarner diagnosed with Grade 2 shoulder sprain, not expected back before break

Bumgarner diagnosed with Grade 2 shoulder sprain, not expected back before break

SAN FRANCISCO -- One of the most important men in the Giants organization over the next two months won't be seen on the field. Madison Bumgarner has been turned over to Tony Reale, the team's physical therapist, for the start of his rehab from a dirt bike accident. The process kicked off Friday, and a week after they first announced the injury, the Giants provided additional details. 

Trainer Dave Groeschner said Bumgarner has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 left shoulder sprain, which means there are partial tears in his shoulder. The diagnosis was not a surprise, and neither is the timetable. Bumgarner is expected to need two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he's big league-ready. If all goes according to plan, he will return to the rotation right after the All-Star break, although the early rehab process will determine if the timetable can be moved up a bit or if it has to be pushed back. 

The medical process is led by Dr. Ken Akizuki, the team's orthopedist, but outside specialists were consulted. Dr. Tim McAdams, the team doctor for the 49ers, saw Bumgarner and his test results were sent to Dr. James Andrews, the most famous name in the field, and Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed Will Smith's Tommy John surgery. All of the doctors agreed that Bumgarner does not need surgery. 

"That's nice to hear," Groeschner said. "It's nice when everyone is in agreement. Now we'll put a plan in place and work on the rehab and get him back. Bum is a very conscientious person. We feel good about the fact that if we’re going to ask him to do something (to rehab), he’s going to do it.”

The Giants are confident Bumgarner will attack the rehab process. He has been diligent in the opening days about icing and getting treatment. They also are confident that the injury will not hamper his unique delivery, although more will be known as he gets closer to throwing. 

In the meantime, Ty Blach will take his second turn in Bumgarner's spot on Sunday. 

Giants lineup: Morse gets first start, Posey out vs Padres

Giants lineup: Morse gets first start, Posey out vs Padres

Programming note: Padres-Giants coverage starts today at 6:00pm with Giants Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

Andy Green and Bruce Bochy issued their lineups for today's series opener at AT&T Park:

Padres (9-15)

1. Manuel Margot (R) CF
2. Erick Aybar (S) SS
3. Wil Myers (R) 1B
4. Yangervis Solarte (S) 2B
5. Ryan Schimpf (L) 3B
6. Cory Spangenberg (L) LF
7. Austin Hedges (R) C
8. Jabari Blash (R) RF
9. Luis Perdomo (R) P

Giants (8-15) 

1. Joe Panik (L) 2B
2. Brandon Belt (L) LF
3. Hunter Pence (R) RF
4. Michael Morse (R) 1B
5. Christian Arroyo (R) SS
6. Conor Gillaspie (L) 3B
7. Nick Hundley (R) C
8. Drew Stubbs (R) CF
9. Jeff Samardzija (R) P