SAN FRANCISCO -- Before every series and often before a road trip, Giants manager Gabe Kapler sits down with Buster Posey and maps out his catcher's playing time. The two will soon plan out the schedule through the MLB All-Star break, making sure there are enough days off for a player who has been watched closely in his return from a year off and has thus far put up some of the best numbers of his career.
But some things are out of Kapler and Posey's control, something they were reminded of Friday night when Posey's back flared up after he hit in the cage. Posey is back in the lineup Sunday against the Athletics, continuing a push that should put him back in the All-Star Game. That's another thing that's out of Kapler's control.
Posey was one of three Giants to be listed as finalists for All-Star voting, along with Brandon Crawford and Mike Yastrzemski. Posey, who is batting .322 with 12 homers has a good chance to be voted in as a starter, which would somewhat rob him of four expected days off. It's a short flight to Denver, the site of this year's game, but it would be a couple of busy days and an extra start for Posey at a time when he could otherwise be resting.
Kapler said that's something he's not worried about at all.
"That's the All-Star game, right? It's kinda worth it," he said. "These guys work really hard to stand out and obviously those things are still hanging in the balance (with voting and selections). No, I don't have any concerns about that. Usually managers treat players really well.
"No worries there."
Whether he is voted in or selected as a reserve, Posey is a lock to make his seventh All-Star team. The final results of phase one of All-Star voting were announced Sunday morning, showing that Posey maintained the commanding lead that he had throughout the process and Crawford and Yastrzemski had made late surges.
Posey went wire-to-wire among NL catchers and finished with 1,845,042 votes, the third-most of any NL player behind San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. and Atlanta's Ronald Acuña Jr. He is up against St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras in the final vote, which goes Monday through Thursday.
Crawford had been fourth throughout the early voting but passed Los Angeles' Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager -- who is on the IL -- in the final days of voting. Crawford got the third spot by about 22,000 votes. Yastrzemski was 16th among NL outfielders in the last update on Monday but passed seven players in a week to become one of nine outfielders on the NL final ballot.
Crawford, in particular, has an uphill climb. Tatis Jr. was the only NL player to finish above two million votes and might be the most popular player in the game right now, but Crawford is a strong bet to be voted in by fellow players, at the very least.
The 24 pitchers and reserves for the NL will be determined by a combination of players' votes and selections by MLB and announced on July 4.