Whiteside promotion allows Bochy to play it safe with Posey

August 26, 2012, 10:20 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO Buster Poseys hamstring is not back to fullstrength yet, which prompted the Giants to bring in Eli Whiteside forreinforcement.Whiteside, who went 1-for-8 in a brief July call-up, takes the active rosterspot of right-handed pitcher Eric Hacker, who was optioned back to Triple-AFresno following Saturdays loss to the Atlanta Braves.Giants manager Bruce Bochy explained the logic behind bringing Whiteside backto the big leagues and the luxury it affords him moving forward.We just wanted some coverage on the catching side, Bochysaid. Were getting in a situation with Buster not quite being 100 that wecould run for him and still have another catcher. And today, for example, withhim playing first base, if I want to take him out and put Brandon Belt outthere, put his defense there, then have another catcher that can back up HectorSanchez.Bochy said that it will also allow him to use Sanchez, a switch-hitter, as anoption off the bench on days Posey starts at catcher. Posey and Sanchez have combined for 93 RBIs as backstops this season, which ranks ahead of all other catcher corps in the big leagues.
It frees you up to use Hector to pinch hit a little easier,Bochy said. We just feel like were better off going with the third catcherright now.Both Bochy and Posey said that the hamstring issue isbothersome on the basepaths, not in the squat.He feels it running just a little bit, Bochy said. Hesgoing to take it easy and situations where we need some speed out there anddont want him to push it, then having another catcher is going to allow me tomake that move.While Posey is in the starting lineup at first base Sunday,Bochy said that he doesnt plan to keep his cleanup hitter away from catchingmore than usual over the next week.Hopefully with a day off and playing first today, wellgive this thing even more time to get completely healed, Bochy said. Hesdoing pretty good. I dont know where to put him at, 90-95. But hes realclose to having it right.The choice to keep three catchers comes at the expense of an extra arm in thebullpen, but Bochy isnt concerned.Weve got a day off tomorrow so give those guys some time to freshen up,Bochy said of his relievers. And now were not looking at too many days beforewe have our call-ups to get some help. So I think were covered until they gethere.Bochy is referring to Sept. 1, when the Giants roster can expand from 25active players to include anyone listed on the 40-man roster. Before that daycomes, the Giants will need to make a decision on reliever Guillermo Mota, whowas suspended 100 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.Sunday is the final day of Motas suspension, which meansthe Giants will have to make a decision to either activate the veteranright-hander or designate him for assignment on Tuesday.Bochy isnt ready to make a call on Mota before the rules force the Giants to.We havent made that decision, Bochy said.

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