SCOTTSDALE — Buster Posey made his spring debut at first base Monday, and manager Bruce Bochy said he plans on sticking with the same plan as in years past, getting Posey plenty of days away from the squat. At the moment, that’s easier said than done.
Andrew Susac remains sidelined by wrist pain that Bochy described as a “mystery.” Trevor Brown, the other catcher on the 40-man roster, was removed after one inning Monday after getting hit by a backswing. Brown’s X-rays came back negative, but he’ll likely miss at least a day or two as the Giants begin the last week of camp.
“You don’t like these guys getting nicked up at this time,” Bochy said. “Brownie is going to be fine, we believe. Susac is a mystery, to be honest, with how he feels.”
Susac, who had wrist surgery last September, felt pain in his right wrist while checking his swing against the A’s last Monday. He received a cortisone shot and said he is pain-free when throwing and catching, but there is shooting pain when he takes a full swing. Susac has a bone bruise and inflammation, but an MRI ruled out structural damage and he’s not scheduled for any additional tests.
“We’re trying to figure it out,” he said. “It almost feels like a little nerve thing going on with the shooting pain when I swing. It doesn’t hurt even when I swing at 50 percent (effort). I just want to get right, you know? Health is more important than going out there and trying to play through something like this in the last five days (of camp). I just want to get right.”
Susac and Brown have been competing for the backup spot behind Posey. While Susac entered as the favorite, the injury has held him back and opened the door for Brown, a quality defender who is hitting .375 this spring. The other remaining catcher in camp is veteran George Kottaras. Miguel Olivo came over from minor league camp and went 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI after replacing Brown.
GAME RECAP: Jeff Samardzija gave up six earned in six innings, raising his spring ERA to 8.53. What’s up? “Spring training, man,” Samardzija said, smiling. “I feel good, man. It was a great day out there. There were a couple of balls that I left on the plate and they took advantage of it.”
Samardzija was pleased with his splitter and Bochy said he liked the way Samardzija looked, saying there were “a lot of positives.” Samardzija isn’t alone in getting hit this spring; all the starters have, but Bochy said there’s no concern, noting that guys are mostly working on getting pitch counts up this time through the rotation.
HIGHLIGHT REEL: Angel Pagan robbed Billy Burns of a base hit with a diving catch in the third. It was easily the best play Pagan has made as a left fielder, in part because of the jump he got and the direct path he took.
“He’s working his tail off,” Bochy said. “He wants to be a good left fielder.”
The Giants lost 6-4 but had a strong day in the field. Ehire Adrianza made a Brandon Crawford-ish diving stop on a hard shot to his right and popped up in time to get the out at first.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Brewers named Wily Peralta their Opening Day starter. Peralta is 3-1 in his career against the Giants, but has a 4.85 ERA in five starts. Pagan is 7 for 13 off him and Posey is 6 for 11.
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QUOTABLE: Posey made a looping underhand throw back to Samardzija on a grounder to first and the former wide receiver showed off some of that athleticism, making the snag and tapping the bag for the out. He later admitted he might have missed the bag. It was still a nice catch, though. “No broken tackles,” Samardzija said. “But I got out of bounds, stopped the clock.”