SAN FRANCISCO -- Coming off a 5-1 road trip, whichculminated in a three-game sweep of the archrival Dodgers in Los Angeles, youwouldnt expect much cause for concern in Giants-land.But whenever Buster Posey is out of the lineup due to an injury, all bets areoff. At least Poseys issue is with his hamstring, and not hissurgically-repaired ankle.I've been feeling it forprobably four or five games, and the second game in L.A. I probably felt it alittle bit more, Posey said. Fortunately, I really never felt my hamstring betight, but I don't feel like it'll be a big issue at all.If you trust Posey and his manager Bruce Bochy, theresnothing to worry about.I'm feeling better today,Posey said before Thursdays series opener against the Atlanta Braves. Justtalking to head trainer Dave Groeschner, he thinks it's the smartest thing todo with 38 games to go. I'm definitely feeling better today.Bochy reiterated that the decision to rest his cleanup-hittingcatcher was more a matter of caution than necessityThis was a close call, Bochy said. Hes available to pinch hit. If somethinghappened where we had to put him behind the plate, we could today. But we justfelt like its not 100, its not quite worth the risk, so hes going to getanother day. But were all optimistic that hell be back there tomorrow. Butits good to have him available tonight, where yesterday I wasnt going to usehim at all.The Giants did just fine without Posey in Wednesday 8-4 win over the Dodgers,but could use his .350 home batting average, which ranks fourth in the NationalLeague. However, Posey is 0-for-6 with a strikeout against Thursdays Bravesstarter Tommy Hanson. He expects to return to the lineup for game two of fouragainst Atlanta on Friday, with veteran right-hander Ben Sheets scheduled tostart.I'mhoping tomorrow, Posey said of when he expects to return. I don't see anyreason why not.Bochy is equally optimistic that Poseys hamstring will be healthy enough for aFriday start. He also said that the Giants will be extra careful with Posey.Even when he comes back, well make sure not that wellhave him steal bases or anything that he does take it easy to a point wherehes not going to risk it, Bochy said. This is being cautious right now. Ifwe were at the end of September and had to win this game, maybe he wouldcatch.Both Bochy and Posey said that catching was not the concern.Rather, its running the bases that can aggravate a hamstring injury. So dontexpect Posey to see more time at first base as a result. When Bochy deems himready to run the bases, Posey will be back in the squat as usual.
Pablo Sandovals sore hamstring led to an early exit fromWednesdays game, but hes back in the lineup Thursday.Bochy said that he wouldnt hesitate to do the same thing if Sandovalshamstring injury acts up again.We had to take him out yesterday so its obviously not 100,Bochy said. Its hard to quantify what percent hes at. Only he knows that. Hefelt it a little bit, thats why he came out of the game yesterday. But hesgood to go today and well have to just keep an eye on him and if it tightensup during the game, hell come out again tonight.
Santiago Casilla threw back-to-back dominant outings in LosAngeles, and while Bochy isnt ready to abandon his closer-by-committeeapproach, he certainly took notice of his former closers resurgence after afinger blister and control issues forced him from a regular role in the ninthinning.Very encouraged by how he threw the ball, Bochy said. Andyou could see a difference in his attitude. He feels really good about wherehes at with the finger. So hes going to help out in that role.
There was an Aubrey Huff sighting at AT&T Park beforeThursdays game. The oft-injured and oft-slumping first baseman has missed 71games while on the disabled list three times, twice for a right knee sprain andonce for an anxiety disorder.Bruce Bochy said that the Giants will make a decision on what to do with Huff,who was eligible to be re-instated from the disabled list on August 14, verysoon.Hes going to be evaluated today and well make a decisionwhat were going to do with him, Bochy said. But hes going to do all thebaseball activities. Then well see where hes at and what the next move is.