Buster Posey

Swelling in right thumb keeps Posey out vs Padres


Swelling in right thumb keeps Posey out vs Padres

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants will try to salvage a series split without their best bat. 

Buster Posey was out of Sunday's lineup because of swelling in his right thumb. Bruce Bochy said Posey will be able to start Tuesday, and he wanted to give him two full days off since the Giants have a travel day Monday. 

When Posey returns, he'll catch Johnny Cueto. The right-hander's ankle felt good a day after he pitched a simulated game and he'll return to the rotation for the opener with the Diamondbacks. It at first seemed that Jeff Samardzija would be right behind him, but that's now up for discussion. 

Samardzija made a rehab start for the San Jose Giants on Saturday night and allowed six runs in the first inning while fighting command issues. He was much better after that, hitting 95 mph while piling up strikeouts late, and he reached 62 pitches. Still, Bochy said the staff is leaning toward having Samardzija (strained pectoral) make one more rehab start in the minors. 

--- Mac Williamson homered again Saturday. It was his fourth of the season, but don't expect him in the big league outfield anytime soon. 

"They haven't played that many games there, let's let these guys get some playing time and settled in, just like our guys," Bochy said. "Right now, we have no plans to make changes."

--- Austin Slater has started taking grounders at first in Triple-A. Bochy said the staff wants Slater, who was drafted as a second baseman, to get more versatility. The Giants are pleased with the way Gorkys Hernandez and Gregor Blanco have played as big league backup outfielders, and Williamson is now ahead of Slater in the pecking line for an outfield call-up. So this should help his cause. 

Giants lineup: Hundley behind the dish, Posey gets first day off


Giants lineup: Hundley behind the dish, Posey gets first day off

After a 14-inning win, Bruce Bochy is giving Buster Posey and others some rest as they take on Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.

Los Angeles Dodgers (2-6)

1. Chris Taylor (R) CF
2. Corey Seager (L) SS
3. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
4. Enrique Hernandez (R) 1B
5. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
6. Matt Kemp (R) LF
7. Logan Forsythe (R) 3B
8. Austin Barnes (R) 2B
9. Clayton Kershaw (L) P

San Francisco Giants (4-3)

1. Austin Jackson (R) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen (R) RF
4. Nick Hundley (R) C
5. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 1B
7. Hunter Pence (R) LF
8. Kelby Tomlinson (R) SS
9. Ty Blach (R) P

No. 79? No. 53? Before they were stars, Giants wore random numbers


No. 79? No. 53? Before they were stars, Giants wore random numbers

SCOTTSDALE — A couple of veterans walked past a clubhouse TV earlier in camp and saw that the Giants and Padres were tied heading into the bottom of the 10th of an exhibition game. The Padres infielders were just standing around, and there was not yet a new pitcher on the mound. 

“It’s that time when No. 99 comes in to pitch,” one of the players joked as he headed home for the day.

A few seconds later, a big left-hander took the mound. He was, in fact, wearing No. 99, and in his inning on the mound he would face a No. 74 (Aramis Garcia) and No. 78 (Steven Duggar). This is the norm for spring training, when dozens of players — including teenagers and journeymen still hanging around the low minors — get into every game. That leads to action between numbers you would never see in a normal game. The Giants had 60 players in camp, plus 10 coaches and staff members with numbers. Throw in their 10 retired numbers and the unofficially retired ones (25, 55, etc.) and, well, there aren’t a whole lot of choices left. 

If Duggar makes the Opening Day roster, he’ll get an upgrade from his lineman’s number. Ditto for Garcia, who could be Buster Posey’s backup as soon as next season. Still, a taste of big league action doesn’t guarantee a normal number in camp, when young players regularly find themselves back at the end of the line. 

Ryder Jones wore 83 in camp last year and 63 in the big leagues. When he showed up this year, with 150 big league at-bats under his belt, he was told that he would have to wait until the end of the spring to upgrade. Players with more service time (think No. 2 Chase d’Arnaud or No. 19 Josh Rutledge) get priority, at least until all the cuts are made. Jones said he has a few numbers in mind for his next stint in the big leagues, but he won’t be picky. 

“Anything under 40 works,” he said, smiling. 

The steady climb toward single digits happens to just about everybody. Long before Brandon Crawford’s became @bcraw35, he wore 79 in his first camp. He moved up to 53 after that and Mike Murphy flipped that to 35 when Crawford became the big league shortstop. Hunter Pence doesn’t remember his first spring training number with the Astros, but he knows it was in the low eighties. Joe Panik wore 66 the first time he spent a spring at Scottsdale Stadium. “I was an offensive lineman,” he joked. Tyler Beede, now on the cusp of his big league debut, got promoted from 63 to 32 when he arrived last spring, only to swap to 38 this year because of some in-season shifting. When Pablo Sandoval arrived last summer, Steven Okert switched from 48 to 32.

Then there are those who have only known one jersey. Posey was a can’t-miss prospect when he arrived and doesn’t remember wearing anything other than 28. Brandon Belt was a top-25 prospect when he came to camp for the first time, and he’s been 9 since that day. Madison Bumgarner wore 40 in his first big league camp because he had already made his big league debut, but somewhere in the team archives, there are probably a few photos of a 19-year-old Bumgarner wearing something else. 

“The previous spring I came up to pitch a few times,” Bumgarner said. “I’m pretty sure I had a different number every time I came over and I’m pretty sure it was always in the eighties.”

There were seven Giants in the eighties this spring. Duggar was one of two top prospects — Chris Shaw inherited Crawford’s old 79 — to come close, and he didn’t mind one bit. He’s not thinking too far ahead, even though he could be a big leaguer in eight days. 

“I’ll take anything if I’m in the big leagues,” he said. “I’ll take No. 112 if that’s what they give me.”