Some two years ago, I suggested, or really, insisted that the Giants needed to move Posey from behind the plate because the demands of catching, not to mention the injuries, would rob him of his abilities much faster than any other position. Any sen
sible organization would consider a shooting star of his caliber too important to let that happen. Brian Sabean and Buster didn’t agree with that approach, and even though they certainly weren’t responding to me, they actually came out and stated that they had no intention of moving him, that Posey’s spot was catcher and that was that.
One lost year later, we now hear that somehow, Bruce Bochy is gonna protect Posey from the rigors of catching by preventing him from blocking the plate.
…. It is not a hint, or a suggestion, or a plea, but a direct order: Manager Bruce Bochy has told catcher Buster Posey not to block the plate this season.
“I’ll take this out of Buster’s hands,” Bochy said after Giants pitchers and catchers, including Posey, finished their first formal workout of spring training Sunday. “As a manager, that’s my job. I certainly don’t want people to think he’s backing off on his own. It’s something we’ll work on with him this spring.”
For an organization that operates in such a diverse and complex city, these Giants sure don’t seem to have much of a clue. Even Buster thinks this is pretty much bullshit:
…. He and Bochy already discussed Bochy’s insistence that Posey stay out of harm’s way so he can stay on the field, though Posey, still suggesting that Cousins went after him, said, “I want to make it clear I wasn’t blocking the plate in the first place.”
Of course Cousins went out of his way to blow him up. That’s the way things are in baseball right now, even though there’s really no reason that baseball should allow that to continue; they do. (and don’t expect Seligula to solve this problem, he’s too busy counting his money) Until there is a rule change, runners will blow up catchers. But that’s only one way catchers get hurt. We’ve been over this. He is too good a hitter to be a catcher. Look at Joe Mauer, whose career has been completely derailed by concussions and other assorted injuries. The Twins are moving him out from behind the plate, praying that they are not too late. This is not something that might happen to Posey, it is going to happen. It’s already happening. Even if he never has a catastrophic injury again, he is at enormous risk behind the plate, every pitch.
For crying out loud, they’re already talking about him using a different helmet because of how banged up his head was getting. This is a joke of a response. He is the most valuable hitter this team has developed in probably 25 years. One of these days, he’s gonna make $10 or $15 million dollars a year. And you cannot be a catcher and not get ground down into dust.
He’s coming back from a career threatening injury, he was already having issues with his catcher’s mask; and he’s the best hitter we’ve brought up in decades! Where is the decisiveness, the leadership in this organization? He needs to be moved out from behind the plate, all other considerations be damned. Stop telling me about how great a game he calls, about how he saves the team hundreds of runs every year. None of that is true. The Yankees won four World Series with Jorge Posada behind the plate, a widely recognized poor defensive catcher, who had all kinds of problems calling games during his first four or five years.
They still won those championships. He started late as a catcher, had several seasons where he caught fewer than 80 games per year, (by the way, that’s one of the reasons he was able to be effective late in his career).
Guys like Posada are outliers. Most catchers are like the Molina brothers, big, thick, tough guys, just good enough at the plate to learn how to be a catcher. Hell, Posada is like a Molina who can hit. Posey is not like a Molina.
He’s entering his third full season, and here’s where we are. He’s had problems with getting his bell rung, and he lost a season due to a horrific collision. One more significant injury, and you’re talking about him being permanently damaged goods, if he’s not there already. This is a waste of time, and a waste of resources. The Giants need to do better.