Buster Posey checks off boxes in spring training debut: 'I feel more free'


Buster Posey checks off boxes in spring training debut: 'I feel more free'

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — When Buster Posey underwent major hip surgery late last season, Madison Bumgarner didn't really expect to be throwing to his good friend on Opening Day. He certainly didn’t expect to be throwing to Posey on March 1.

“I always tell him catchers are a lot tougher than pitchers are,” Posey said, laughing as he looked over at Bumgarner.

The two were back together Friday night, bringing some normalcy to a stretch that has been anything but for the Giants. For the face of the franchise, this was a significant step. Posey caught three innings, singled in his first at-bat, and tested his surgically repaired hip right away by sprinting from first to third on a bloop to right. 

As Posey held one hand up, calling for time, there seemed no doubt: He’ll be ready to go March 28 at Petco Park.

“It would have been nice to maybe ease into it a little bit but it was also nice to check off some more boxes, and we’ll see how my body responds tomorrow and Sunday,” Posey said. “Overall I was really happy with the way it felt.”

It has been smooth sailing through a lengthy rehab process, and Posey hasn't been noticeably limited this spring. He said he feels better physically than he did a year ago, and not just at the plate. Even getting down in the crouch felt better Friday.

"I feel more free," he said. "I think that's a good way to put it."

[RELATED: Posey reflects on Bochy's legacy]

Posey is scheduled to catch again Sunday and then be the DH on Monday to make up some at-bats. Barring a setback, he'll team up with Bumgarner in a month for the season opener. 

"This is awesome that he's ready to go now, pretty much," Bumgarner said. "When I saw the shape he was in and how he felt when he first got here, I felt really good about it."

Giants vs. Braves lineups: Red-hot Max Fried will see seven righties


Giants vs. Braves lineups: Red-hot Max Fried will see seven righties

The Giants can pick up their second straight series win if they take care of one of the better teams in baseball Tuesday night. 

After a walk-off win Monday night at Oracle Park, San Francisco hosts the Atlanta Braves once again. Jeff Samardzija will square off against Braves southpaw Max Fried. Fried is in the middle of a breakout season, owning a 1.13 WHIP through nine starts in 2019, and the Giants will counter the 25-year-old with seven right-handed hitters.

The Giants, meanwhile, continue to employ a revolving door in left field and will start Mac Williamson there. Since homering in his first gaem on May 7, Williamson has slashed .114/.205/.143 in 39 plate appearances. 

[RELATED: What we learned in Anderson's second start with Giants]

First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming on the MyTeams app.

Here are the lineups for both teams Tuesday night:

San Francisco Giants (21-26)
Donovan Solano, 2B
Tyler Austin, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Buster Posey, C
Kevin Pillar, RF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Mac Williamson, LF
Steven Duggar, CF
Jeff Samardzija, RHP (2-2, 3.69 ERA)

Atlanta Braves (26-23)
Ronald Acuña Jr., CF
Dansby Swanson, SS
Freddie Freeman, 1B
Nick Markakis, RF
Austin Riley, 3B
Brian McCann, C
Ozzie Albies, 2B
Matt Joyce, LF
Max Fried, LHP (6-2, 2.86 ERA)

MLB mock draft 2019: Giants choosing between Bryson Stott, Alex Manoah

MLB mock draft 2019: Giants choosing between Bryson Stott, Alex Manoah

The past is the past when it comes to the Giants. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi is overseeing a new era of baseball in San Francisco, and the 2019 MLB Draft will be a big step for the future. 

With the draft less than two weeks away, it's starting to become clear who the Giants could be eyeing. ESPN's Keith Law, who hasn't released a mock draft since May 6, had the team selecting Florida high school pitcher Matt Allan at No. 10 overall

But multiple outlets now have the Giants deciding between two college prospects.

CBS Sports' Mike Axisa and FanGraphs' Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel have the Giants taking UNLV shortstop Bryson Stott, while's Jim Callis and Bleacher Report's Joel Reuter are giving San Francisco right-handed pitcher Alek Manoah out of West Virginia University.

Here's a look at the two prospects. 

Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV

Stott, 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, was named All-America Third Team last year as a sophomore and has been even better this season. Through 51 games, the left-handed hitting infielder is batting .369 with 10 home runs and a 1.134 OPS. He also has 13 more walks (50) than strikeouts (37). 

"He is often compared to Brandon Crawford (more for his build and bat; he’s not that level of defender), and fits the various tendencies of new GM Farhan Zaidi and new scouting director Michael Holmes," FanGraphs says about Stott. 

The 21-year-old is considered the best college infielder and could have a quick path to the pros. He was the USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team starting shortstop last summer and is currently Baseball America's No. 10 ranked draft prospect

Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia

Manoah looks like the exact type of pitcher you'd think of knowing he's from Miami but plays college baseball in West Virginia. He stands 6-6 and 260 pounds, sports a thick beard, tattoos down his right throwing arm and sometimes misses a button or two on his jersey. 

And he rarely gets hit. 

[RELATED: What we learned in Anderson's second MLB start with Giants]

Manoah is 8-3 with a 1.91 ERA as a junior this season. He's has 125 strikeouts in 94.1 innings pitched, and has struck out at least 10 batters six times. 

Though he needs to work on his command -- Manoah has seven wild pitches this year -- he's known to throw in the upper 90s and is ranked as Baseball America's 13th best prospect.