Giants

Posey honored with Hank Aaron Award

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Posey honored with Hank Aaron Award

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DETROIT Last year, Buster Posey was on the shelf. This year, his shelf is getting awfully crowded.

It will be 20 more days until the NL Most Valuable Player Award is announced, for which Posey is considered a heavy favorite. But the Giants cleanup-hitting catcher took home one heck of a satisfying appetizer on Saturday, when he was named the recipient of the Hank Aaron Award in recognition of being the most outstanding offensive performer in the National League.

Detroits Miguel Cabrera, who became the first player to win the triple crown since 1967, received the AL award.

Posey received the award just 17 months after a home-plate collision ripped three ankle ligaments, fractured a bone in his leg and ended his season.

What an honor for Buster, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. This guy has amazed me with everything weve thrown at him. To come back and get this award tells you how talented and what a special player he is.

And hes so humble. He doesnt like to talk about himself. Hes one of the best players in the game. And being from Georgia, Im sure its going to mean a lot to have his name mentioned with Hank Aaron.

Posey won the NL batting title with a major league-best .336 average while also becoming the first Giant to drive in 100 runs since Barry Bonds in 2004. His 24 home runs was just tied for 22nd among NL hitters, but his .408 on-base percentage ranked second behind the Reds Joey Votto and his .957 OPS was second to the Brewers Ryan Braun.

Its possible that Brauns positive drug test from last season might have impacted the final vote, which is comprised of a special panel of Hall of Famers personally selected by Aaron. Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan and Robin Yount were voting members of the panel this year.

Giants special assistant Felipe Alou, who played with Aaron, was elated to learn that Posey became the clubs first recipient of the award since Barry Bonds. Bonds won in 2001, 02 and 04.

Alou reminded that Aaron finished with a .305 career average.

What is an outstanding hitter? Is it a lot of home runs and RBIs? Or is it a batting champion? Alou said. A lot of people remember Hank Aaron for hitting all those home runs, but I know because I played with him what a great hitter he was. He hit doubles. He went to the opposite field. That is Posey right there, too.

I believe he most deserves this award because he is that kind of hitter. I dont know if hell hit 800 home runs, but the kind of year he had after that injury is amazing to me. Im proud of him.

I have told many people that we didnt win last year because Posey got hurt. We missed that Hank Aaron-type of hitter. Its good to have him back.

Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate

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AP

Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate

SACRAMENTO -- A young man named Clayton Blackburn walked into the home clubhouse at Raley Field on Tuesday decked out in Round Rock gear. 

"You're here for my start?" he said, smiling.

Sorry, Clayton, I was on Panda Watch for two days. But it was fun watching Blackburn, DFA’d in a weird move earlier this year, face former teammates. Blackburn hasn't had a great season with Texas, but he is still just 24 and he has gotten into terrific shape. Given what happened during his call-up last year, you should root for him to get a second chance. 

Blackburn gave up three runs over six innings against his former team. The River Cats won on Jarrett Parker’s walk-off homer to dead center with two outs in the ninth. Parker was one of many familiar faces in the lineup Tuesday. Here are some thoughts on guys you know, and guys you will: 

--- Trevor Brown is the backup catcher in Sacramento, which is certainly a fall from his run as Buster Posey's backup. Brown is batting .168 in what has been a very frustrating season for him. The groin injury that slowed him early lingered, he had a concussion, and he hasn't been able to find any BABIP luck. This year seems a lost one for a guy who was a big part of 2016. I’m still intrigued by his versatility.

--- Chris Shaw is the latest podcast guest. You can stream it here. We talked about his power, his move to left, thinking he was a Ray, and more. I didn't see many at-bats, but I saw enough in left field to be confident he'll be fine out there. 

--- Parker started in center field and made a nice running catch at the wall. He wouldn't hold up as a big league center fielder, but perhaps the Giants should throw him out there a few times down the stretch to see if he can be a backup option next season. Parker said he finally found his swing over the past few games. His rehab assignment ends in about a week, and he’s expected back in San Francisco. 

--- Reyes Moronta, who spent a day in the majors in May, was promoted to Triple-A. In his first inning, Drew Stubbs took him deep. I found that quirky. It's been a long season with far too many transactions. 

--- If Steven Duggar would stay healthy, he would probably make it up to SF in September. Unfortunately, his hamstring was tight again this week, keeping him out of San Jose’s lineup for a few days. Speaking of health: Tyler Beede’s groin injury will keep him out longer than just the standard DL time … Melvin Upton Jr. is still in Sacramento rehabbing a shoulder injury, but he’s not throwing yet so it’s hard to picture him making any noise before September call-up time …Christian Arroyo is in Arizona rehabbing from hand surgery. 

--- Derek Law was smiling because Derek Law is always smiling. He has a 4.32 ERA but said he feels much better than those results. “My slider is back,” Law said. He should be, too, when the Giants expand their roster. There are some other interesting relievers in Sacramento. A first baseman told me opposing hitters grumble about facing D.J. Snelten (1.84 ERA) and Tyler Rogers has a 1.94 ERA as a dirt-scraping right-hander. 

--- A teammate predicted Carlos Moncrief would hit .270 in the big leagues if called up, and he ended up getting that call Wednesday morning. Moncrief is a fun clubhouse addition. He gave Sandoval some good-natured heckling for talking to reporters after going 1 for 4. 

--- The Giants have had a lot of veterans visit San Jose this season. They all bought the postgame spread, but word around the block is that Madison Bumgarner provided the best meal. He had steak and lobster delivered to San Jose Muni. 

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Eduardo Nuñez left San Francisco in a strange way. The third baseman was traded in the middle of Tuesday night’s game and mostly said his goodbyes in a stairwell behind the home dugout at AT&T Park. Before joining the Red Sox, Nuñez took to his social media pages to send a message to the Giants and their fans. 

On Twitter, Nuñez thanked the organization for “the great opportunity and experiences learned” and wished the team the best of luck. His Instagram message was a bit longer. 

“I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing team,” Nuñez wrote. “I value the experiences learned during my time here and I will miss my teammates, the fans, and the beautiful city of San Francisco very much. Best wishes to the Giants organization during the rest of this season. God Bless.”

Nuñez is expected to join the Red Sox on Friday. Boston’s manager, John Farrell, told reporters that his new infielder will get “a high number of at-bats” despite the presence of top prospect Rafael Devers. 

"This is someone who's swinging the bat very well right now,” Farrell said, according to MassLive.com. "A high energy player that can run the bases well. He’s got really good line drive power so his .300-plus batting average to mix into this lineup is a good addition."