Source: Giants to put Buster Posey on disabled list

Source: Giants to put Buster Posey on disabled list

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants put Buster Posey on the seven-day concussion disabled list Tuesday, with Tim Federowicz getting called up to back up Nick Hundley. To clear a spot for Federowicz, who was not on the 40-man roster, right-hander Clayton Blackburn was designated for assignment. 

Posey was said to be feeling alright Tuesday, but the team committed to making the move out of an abundance of caution. There was no need to take any risks given Posey’s position, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area. 

Posey was hit on the back of the helmet by a 94 mph Taijuan Walker fastball in the first inning of Monday’s home opener. He sat down, waiting for trainer Dave Groeschner with a dazed look on his face. Groeschner immediately pulled Posey from the game and took him to the clubhouse for tests, which Posey passed. 

Posey told teammates that he felt normal, and that he was not experiencing the symptoms he expected. On his way out of the ballpark, Posey told NBC Bay Area that he felt fine. But the training staff monitored Posey overnight to make sure he did not have a delayed reaction. 

The Giants have embraced a much more proactive approach to concussions after several players suffered from late-showing symptoms in recent years. Brandon Belt missed 12 games with a concussion in 2014, returned too early, and then missed another 34 games after seeing a specialist. Joe Panik played for over a week after getting hit in the head last season and then ended up missing 23 games after he revealed that he didn’t feel right. 

Major League Baseball instituted a seven-day concussion DL for situations like this one, although it was unclear how much time Posey is expected to miss. He was set to address the media before Tuesday's game. 

Federowicz has played 106 big league games for the Dodgers and Cubs. He hit .323 this spring with seven doubles and did such a solid job with the staff that Bruce Bochy identified his group of four catchers as the deepest he has ever had. Federowicz reworked the late-March opt-out in his contract and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Sacramento. 

Trevor Brown was previously the third catcher on the 40-man roster, but he started the season on the DL with an ankle injury and in recent days he has been worn down by an illness. 

Blackburn, 24, won the Pacific Coast League ERA title in 2015 but he had a 4.36 ERA in 2016. A right-hander with a varied pitch mix and strong command, Blackburn seems a solid bet to find a 40-man job elsewhere. With the Giants, he had fallen behind other young starters like Ty Blach and Tyler Beede. 

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.