NEW YORK — The Giants haven’t given up on this season yet, despite what the standings tell them every morning. When they do raise the white flag, putting players through waivers won’t be the biggest decision they make.
Catcher Buster Posey will have season-ending surgery on his right hip at some point. Posey admitted Tuesday night that he has known for months that he would need surgery. The discussion right now is centered around timing. Posey intends to keep playing a bit longer, and he will start behind the plate Wednesday.
The San Francisco Chronicle was the first to report Posey would have surgery to repair his labrum and clean out bone spurs. Posey said he has had continued dialogue with the training staff and front office about when to shut it down for the year.
“We’re trying to make the decision that makes sense,” he said.
The Giants have lost five of six and are eight games out of first with 35 to play. Doesn’t this seem like the time to do it?
“We’ll just evaluate and and continue to evaluate between myself, (Dave Groeschner), and the front office, and make the decision collaboratively,” Posey replied. “We’ll take it day by day.”
Manager Bruce Bochy said he has been told that Posey cannot do further damage by continuing to play, and both manager and catcher said they are confident Posey will be ready for opening day next season, even if he waits a few more games before having surgery.
Posey, 31, has been dealing with hip discomfort throughout the season and skipped the All-Star Game to get a cortisone injection. The treatment did not lead to an increase in his numbers. He has not homered since the injection and has just three extra-base hits in 92 second-half at-bats. Overall, Posey, with an inability to use his lower half to drive the ball, is slugging just .386, the lowest mark of his career. He has five homers and just 40 RBI, and his .747 OPS is his lowest in a full season by 50 points.
“You guys have seen him. He’s been battling this all year,” Bochy said. “He’s been a warrior through this, dealing with it, but sometimes it comes to a point where we have to do something about it.”
The Giants entered play Tuesday 7 1/2 games out of first in the National League West and five games out of third place. They lost 6-3 to the Mets. With less than six weeks of baseball remaining, this is a borderline impossible climb, but the franchise has not thrown in the towel yet, in part because the schedule is still soft. The Rangers and Mets visit AT&T Park to close out the month, and the Giants will host the first-place Diamondbacks with one last shot to put a dent in the deficit.
Decisions could be made quickly depending on the team’s situation, but on Tuesday it was still mostly business as usual. After the Reds series, Andrew McCutchen was put on waivers, but a source said no trade was imminent. The front office expects to put others through waivers over the next week, although that is mostly considered standard operating procedure this time of year.