Posey to catch Sunday, questionable for spring opener


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.

Giants catching prospect Garcia relishing reps in Arizona Fall League


Giants catching prospect Garcia relishing reps in Arizona Fall League

After being selected in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants, catcher Aramis Garcia quickly opened eyes with his power. Garcia totaled 15 home runs between Rookie Ball and Short Season Single-A in only 28 games after the draft. 

The next year, Garcia equaled his 15 long balls and spent the majority of his first full pro season at High Single-A. He also improved overall as a hitter, raising his 2014 slash line of .225/.301/.343 to .264/.342/.431 in 2015. The next climb up the farm system ladder was set in place, until it was gone with an excruciating injury. 

Garcia's 2016 season was limited to 47 games played as he sustained a facial fracture in May while sliding into second base. In an attempt to break up a double play, Garcia took a knee to the face. The injury kept him out until the end of July.

When the chance to play in the Arizona Fall League for the Scottsdale Scorpions arose, Garcia jumped at the opportunity. 

"First thing I did was call my parents and let them know," Garcia told MLB.com on Monday. "I was just really excited for getting the opportunity to play against guys who are extremely talented and obviously make up for reps, which are extremely important."

Garcia never did exactly find his rhythm after the injury and finished the season batting .257/.323/.340 with two homers in 41 games. In the first half, the 23-year-old hit .298/.359/.369 compared to a lowly .200/.273/.300 in the second half. 

The catcher known more for his offense than defense, is off to a slow start at the plate while facing some of the top prospects in baseball. Throuh six games, he has gone 3-for-17 at the plate, good for a .176 average. But, Garcia acknowledged he's focusing heavily on his defense in the AFL. 

"I feel like when somebody tries to steal on me, I tend to take it a little bit personally," he said. "It's definitely something I take pride in, something I work on hard every day. There's a little routine I do with receiving and footwork, things like that every day."

Behind the dish, Garcia caught 38 percent of base runners looking to swipe a bag on him last season. Through his three years in the minors, Garcia has erased 34 percent of base stealers and owns a .993 fielding percentage. 

Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series


Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series

World Series ace Jon Lester is all set to start Game 1 for the Chicago Cubs.

Lester will be fully rested when he pitches Tuesday night at Cleveland. Corey Kluber will start for the Indians.

The 32-year-old lefty is 2-0 in three starts during this postseason, with wins over the Giants and Dodgers in the NL playoffs. He was 19-5 during the regular season.

Lester is 3-0 in three starts in the World Series with a sparkling 0.43 ERA. He helped the Boston Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon says Lester is "really, really in the moment" right now.


Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he will go with Kluber, an 18-ame winner during the regular season, in the opener on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA in his first postseason.

Francona has right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer's injured right pinkie heals over the next few days.

Bauer's start in the AL Championship Series lasted less than one inning after his pinkie began bleeding against Toronto. He injured his finger when he sliced it open while repairing a drone.

Also, injured starter Danny Salazar could be available against the Cubs. Salazar hasn't pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness but he's made major progress in the past week and could be on the World Series roster.