SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Buster Posey tested his left ankle by running bases on a back field Tuesday morning, and it was clear he felt good about the results.
Asked what percentage effort he was giving, Posey ribbed a reporter by turning the question around.
"How hard do you think I was running?" he said, smiling.
OK, Posey won't pretend his top speed will trigger any sonic booms this season. He finally estimated he was running at 60 to 70 percent. Significantly, he hit the bag with both feet as he ran to first base, then practiced going first-to-third and second-to-home.
Posey had been running curves but hadn't taken the sharper angles around the bases for more than a week.
REWIND: EXTRAS -- Posey's baserunning still a concern
"There was definitely a significant improvement today from then," he said. "It's how my rehab has gone. When I challenge it to do more things, it progressively gets better and better each time I do it."
Posey is expected to run bases again on Wednesday; it was a good sign that he pushed it Tuesday morning after running curves the previous night.
The Giants could use him as a designated hitter as early as Friday. But Posey won't play until he and the Giants are confident and comfortable he can handle all aspects of the game in an uncontrolled environment without hesitation.
"When you're playing the game, you've got to play the game," he said. "So much of my game is instincts, anyway. When you're out there, your instincts will take over."
Those instincts will include hitting the bag in stride -- whether that's with his good ankle or not.
"In a perfect world, I'd hit it with my right foot every time," Posey said. "But that's not going to happen. ... You want to stay in stride regardless of whether it's right or left.
"I'm happy I've been able to do baseball activities. We knew from the time I was injured (May 25) that bases would be the last thing to come. We've been lucky everything has gone as smoothly as it has."
Posey acknowledged he was "itching to get in a game. At the same time, we've played four. Today's the fifth. So there's still plenty of time."