ATLANTA -- Buster Posey is making only his fourth start of the season at first base Saturday, but his glove will be getting more use in the coming weeks.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he'll have to mix in more starts at first base for Posey, and scatter in a few days off, too, because the club only has one more day off before the All-Star break. They'll play 33 games in 34 days by the time the break rolls around.
Guillermo Quiroz is starting behind the plate because the Braves are starting left-hander Mike Minor. Hector Sanchez, recently back from Triple-A Fresno, hadn't gotten many right-handed at-bats with the Grizzlies. If it were a right-hander on the mound for Atlanta, Bochy said he would've gone with Sanchez.
When I asked Bochy if he thought Sanchez would get enough at-bats to stay sharp, he mentioned that the backup catcher would start on Monday and receive Barry Zito -- a pairing that worked fabulously well last season, particularly in the second half. Zito will fly back to San Francisco ahead of the club on Sunday, since the Giants' game that day was picked up by ESPN for Sunday Night Baseball and will start at 8 p.m. Atlanta time.
East Coast teams have to deal with the travel inconveniences of being on Sunday Night Baseball all the time. The Giants are less accustomed to it, and so you'll hear more complaining in the clubhouse.
The 8 p.m. (EDT) start on Sunday is a big reason Bochy is leaning toward giving Posey a full day off on Monday.
Marco Scutaro tried taking batting practice for the first time since injuring his pinky finger on Tuesday. He accomplished the first step by getting the batting glove on hsi hand while wearing a splint to keep his pinky straight. He didn't appear to take any hard cuts, and when asked how it felt, he gave the universal hand signal for "so-so."
He'll be fitted with a custom orthotic splint when the team returns home on Monday.
As for Angel Pagan and his curiously lingering hamstring strain, he looked 100 percent healthy while doing pregame work. Bochy wouldn't commit to activating him on Monday, but he'll come off the DL at some point on the next homestand.