Posey finds power surge during three-game series in New York

Posey finds power surge during three-game series in New York

NEW YORK — The Giants did not come into the season really expecting Buster Posey to get back to the 20-homer club, but it wasn’t hard to picture a resurgence when Posey hit a pair of long homers while playing in the World Baseball Classic. That swing didn’t show once he returned, but six weeks into the season, Posey has found his power stroke. 

Posey homered in all three games of the Mets series, and none of them were cheap shots in a park built for pitchers. What’s going on? Posey shrugged when asked about the run, saying he “put a good swing” on Wednesday’s blast. 

“It’s just being short to the ball, keeping it simple,” he said. “That’s it. Be ready to hit.”

He did acknowledge, however, that he has purposely cut down his leg lift during his swing. 

“A lot of it is a feel thing, how you’re feeling day-to-day,” he said. “

Whatever he's found, it's working. Posey is batting .367 and slugging .561 this year, his first since turning 30. His OPS of 1.007 would be a career-high. In a season where not much has gone right, Posey looks headed to his fifth All-Star Game, and third straight. Now, if only the Giants could get guys on ahead of him ... 

--- If you missed it, here’s the game story from yesterday’s win. 

--- I’ve seen some discussion on social media about what the Giants will do with Christian Arroyo once Brandon Crawford returns to the lineup Thursday. It’s easy. It’s called “third base.” Just in case it wasn’t obvious, Bruce Bochy has made it clear: Arroyo is here to stay, and to play.

“We’re staying with him, trust me,” Bochy said Wednesday. “This is a tough kid. He can deal with an 0-for-4, four strikeouts, and he’s one guy I don’t get concerned with it having a lingering effect. The bat is something we need and we’ll find a way to get him in there.”

Bochy did acknowledge that he’ll have to find an off day for Arroyo at some point. Even though he’s 21, they don’t want to run him out there every day, as they have. One of the reasons the Giants wanted Arroyo getting a full season in Triple-A was because they wanted him to get used to the grind of professional ball. But for the most part, Arroyo will be at third. 

That makes for an interesting discussion with Eduardo Nuñez. He had a good game at third Wednesday, at the plate and in the field. Before the first pitch, a member of the organization noted that he seems to take his defensive struggles in the outfield to the plate with him. There’s no way around it at this point: Nuñez is the utility guy, and he’ll need to find a way to make an impact whether he’s at third, at short, or in left. 

--- Brandon Crawford was in the clubhouse after the game and flew home with the team. He’ll be ready to go Thursday. Reyes Moronta goes back to Richmond with a little extra cash in his pocket and a day of service time, but without having made his debut. 

--- Denard Span had two singles in a rehab game in San Jose last night. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him at AT&T Park tonight to get checked out by trainers. This won't be a long rehab assignment. 

--- Here's a good story from our Dalton Johnson on young Ryder Jones, the next man in that Arroyo draft class. I really do think Jones has a chance to make it in left, which would make him an interesting guy since he can also handle first and third. The Giants intend to have him in Triple-A the whole year, but he's an intriguing option down the line. You can throw out some of the past numbers. He's still just 22 so he's always been facing older competition, and this spring he showed that the power is coming. 

Bumgarner injury just the latest in recent run of misfortune for Giants

Bumgarner injury just the latest in recent run of misfortune for Giants

Eight years ago in this very space, I postulated that Brian Sabean had done a lucrative deal with Satan.Co to win the Giants’ first World Series in 56 years. He never denied it, so I took that as silent affirmation.

Now, it seems Beelzebub has brought the bill, to be paid in full on receipt of same.

The San Francisco Giants, who needed as few things as possible to go wrong to start this season, just got two full-on groin shots in the space of less than a week, the second of which was delivered when Madison Bumgfarner fractured his hand trying to repel a line drive from Kansas City second baseman Whit Merrifield during Friday’s Cactus League game.

The injury did not look serious at first because, well, because Bumgarner pretends to be made of adamantium, but an X-ray revealed the fracture and though no time for recovery was listed, Bumgarner may return to health before the Giants do.

And yes, I know spring training is no time for fans to lose hope for a cheery season, but you take the fact as they present themselves, and the Giants are already 40 percent down from their projected starting rotation. Jeff Samardzija is already on the disabled list with a hinky pectoral muscle, and as the Giants know all too well, things like this tend to come in sixes, if not eights.

The 2010 Giants hit on every midseason trade and parlayed that good fortune and the assets already on board to a storied October run. A year later, Buster Posey got Scott Cousin-ed, and his broken ankle snapped the team’s hope of repeating.

The Giants then won in 2012 and ’14 without too much incident, but starting midway through 2016, continuing into last year when Bumgarner flipped his dirt bike, and now down to today, it’s been nothing but seeds and stems for Giantvania.

The rumor mill has been quick to offer up possible replacements for the Bumgarner vacancy (though not for his expected results), but at a time in the game’s development when the best and most progressive-thinking teams are talking about four-man rotations and Staff on every fifth day, a strategic development that requires strength in numbers, the Giants have neither that strength nor those numbers.

Their best internal choices are veteran Derek Holland, who might already have been penciled in as Samardzija’s replacement, and phenom-in-training Tyler Beede. But that essentially uses up the in-house bank of usable goods, so Sabean can either buy something very off-the-rack or hope he and Bruce Bochy can fake it long enough for Samardzija (three to four weeks) and then Bumgarner (six to eight, according to ESPN's Buster Olney).

This seems awfully daunting, especially for a team that has buzzard’s luck and a rotting bat rack for a season and a half. But with six days before the regular season starts in Los Angeles against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers...oh, the hell with it. If you’re a Giant fan, start drinking, and continue until further notice. The evil lord of the netherworld will tell you when it’s time to stop.

Bumgarner fractures bone in pitching hand in final tune-up before season

Bumgarner fractures bone in pitching hand in final tune-up before season

SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after the Giants lost one of the game's most durable pitchers, they took a much bigger blow. 

Madison Bumgarner fractured the fifth metacarpal in his pitching hand when he was hit by a line drive Friday in what was to be his final appearance before facing Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers on Opening Day. The Giants did not have an immediate timetable for how long their ace will be out, but he is expected to miss a significant portion of the season for a second straight year. The rotation is already without Jeff Samardzija for the first month of the season because of a strained pectoral.

Bumgarner told reporters he will have surgery on Saturday to insert pins into his hand. He expects the pins to be removed in four-to-six weeks, and that he'll be able to pitch before the All-Star break. ESPN's Buster Olney reported that, in all, Bumgarner will be out for six-to-eight weeks.

Bumgarner looked poised for a huge season, and he threw well all camp. He was injured when hit by a liner off the bat of Kansas City's Whit Merrifield. Ironically, Bumgarner and Merrifield grew up close to each other in North Carolina, and Merrifield has told a story about getting beamed by an intimidating 11-year-old Bumgarner in little league.

The Giants had little rotation depth coming into the season, and the group is now in shambles. Derek Holland, a non-roster invitee, may be the No. 2 starter. The Giants will also have to lean heavily on young pitchers Chris Stratton and Ty Blach. Johnny Cueto is the de facto ace, but he's coming off a down year and at times has struggled this spring. 

There are not many appealing options left in free agency and the Giants likely would have to go into the tax to sign one. Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez are the top in-house options.