Tag: Buster Posey

Buster Posey Adds Final Missing Piece to MLB Legacy with Gold Glove Award

Buster Posey didn’t need to pad his resume.

At age 29, the San Francisco Giants catcher has already won a Rookie of the Year trophy, a batting title, three Silver Sluggers, a National League MVP and three championship rings.

For even the all-time greats, that’s a career and change.

On Tuesday, however, Posey gilded the lily, winning his first Gold Glove award, per MLB.com’s Doug Miller.

Posey beat out St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who had won the prize for the past eight seasons and become the Baby Gerald to Posey’s Maggie Simpson. 

That’s not to suggest Molina was undeserving. During his impressive Gold Glove streak from 2008 to 2015, he was the best defensive catcher in baseball, per FanGraphs

Posey, however, was a better backstop than Molina between 2015 and 2016 by FanGraphs’ metric, and was a better pitch framer in 2014, 2015 and 2016, per StatCorner

In 2016, StatCorner had him as the best pitch framer in baseball. He also gunned down a stout 37 percent of would-be base stealers. 

Defense is something that I’ve always taken pride in,” Posey said, per Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. “It was a bigger focal point as a kid with my coaches and my dad, so as a kid, I paid attention to the Gold Glove award as much as any. So it’s pretty cool to be recognized in this way with this honor.”

On Oct. 27, Baggarly threw his weight behind Posey with a hefty Molina caveat:

The point, again, isn’t to take away from Molina. But Posey has been hovering around the edges of a Gold Glove for a few seasons at least. It was the last feather missing from his cap.

The fact he won it along with fellow Giants Brandon Crawford (shortstop) and Joe Panik (second base) ratchets up the Bay Area’s pride.

“I think it was the one award that he hadn’t won yet,” Crawford said of Posey, per Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area. 

Posey has been such an indelible part of the MLB landscape since he burst on the scene in 2010; it feels as though he’s been with us forever.

More than anything, the cherub-faced Florida State alum has packed a career’s worth of highs (and lows) into a scant seven seasons.

He won NL ROY and a title in 2010, busting the Giants’ 56-year championship drought and bringing the first Commissioner’s Trophy home to San Francisco.

In 2011, his ankle exploded in an ugly home plate collision with the Marlins‘ Scott Cousins, and the Giants missed the playoffs.

In 2012, he won the batting crown with a .336 average and hoisted a second trophy.

Then, in 2014, he reeled in a third ring and top-10 MVP finish.

That’s a lifetime of peaks, valleys and confetti. Or, to put it another way: Every World Series in San Francisco history has been won with Buster Posey on the roster.

Granted, in 2016 Posey posted a good-not-great .288/.362/.434 slash line with 14 home runs as the Giants were bounced in the division series. It’s possible he’ll need to get out from the squat before long to save his legs and prolong his productivity. 

First base is the most logical landing spot, which could mean shifting Brandon Belt to the outfield and various other machinations.

The Giants will consider it all at some point. Posey is a cornerstone at AT&T Park, inked at least through 2021 and embedded into the team’s recent even-year lore. 

For now, we pause to consider the legacy of a ludicrously decorated player who’s still on the right side of 30 and plays a premium position perennially lacking in star wattage.

In April, Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles parsed Posey’s Hall of Fame candidacy and concluded, correctly, that he’s not quite there.

This Gold Glove doesn’t earn him a bust in Cooperstown. It pads his resume, however. That much we know.

On a night when America made a consequential, divisive decision, let’s focus on one we can all get behind: Buster Posey is an awesome catcher.

Now, he has the hardware to prove it.


All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Giants’ Posey Goes Deep for 1,000th Hit of MLB Career

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey reached the 1,000 career hit milestone in impressive fashion, doing the deed with a solo home run in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s 12-3 win over the Colorado Rockies, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Posey thus became the first player since Rich Aurilia in 2003 to record 1,000 career hits with each and every one coming in a Giants uniform.

Aurilia would later go on to have brief spells with the Settle Mariners, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds, before eventually finishing out his career with the Giants from 2007 to 2009.

While nothing can be ruled out, it would just be odd to see Posey in any other uniform, as he’s already been at the center of three World Series victories in San Francisco and is currently signed to a contract that runs through 2021, with a club option for 2022.

Well on his way to the Hall of Fame, the 29-year-old catcher should have a very long career, as he’s one of the few players at his position who hits well enough to serve as an everyday corner infielder once his knees are no longer capable of handling the workload behind home plate.

For the time being, durability hasn’t been an issue, with Posey recently eclipsing the 140-game barrier for a fifth consecutive season.

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Buster Posey Injury: Updates on Giants Star’s Back and Return

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey was removed from the lineup on Sunday with a back injury. It is unclear when he will be able to return. 

Continue for updates.

Posey Out vs. Orioles

Sunday, Aug. 14

The Giants announced Posey would not play against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday due to back tightness.

Posey’s Health Key to Giants’ Success

Durability has been a key part of Posey’s game, as the backstop has played in at least 147 contests in each of the last four years, so this is a concerning setback. He also dealt with an irritated nerve in his thumb earlier in the season.

Fans can look at Posey’s lengthy list of accomplishments to realize how important he is for the Giants. He was the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year and 2012 National League MVP, helping lead the Giants to three World Series titles in his career.

Posey turned heads in 2012 when he won the National League MVP award behind a .336 batting average, 24 home runs and 103 RBI, but the 29-year-old is still a prime producer.

The Giants are World Series contenders again this year largely because of Posey’s presence behind the plate. He helps manage their excellent starting rotation and is one of the team’s key offensive cogs at the plate.

Losing him for significant time would be a difficult blow for the Giants heading into the playoffs.

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Buster Posey Injury: Updates on Giants Star’s Thumb and Return

San Francisco Giants star catcher Buster Posey was removed from the lineup ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox in order to deal with an inflamed nerve in his right thumb, per Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News

Continue for updates.

Posey Considered Day-to-Day

Tuesday, June 4

According to CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic, Posey has dealt with the injury throughout the 2016 season, and the issue is unlikely to keep him out for too long.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy penciled Trevor Brown into the lineup at catcher Tuesday against the Red Sox.

Posey has been an iron man of sorts for San Francisco in recent years, averaging 148 games played over the previous four seasons. Although he had a foot injury near the dawn of the 2016 campaign, it wound up being a mere day-to-day ailment.

The Giants have won three World Series titles since Posey became their full-time backstop. He also has the versatility to play first base when need be, so losing him for any period of time is especially detrimental on defense.

What makes Posey so valuable, though, is his prowess at the plate, as he has posted a career .307 batting average to date. Most catchers never hit that well, but the 29-year-old has proved for years he’s exceptional in that area.

No one can make up for Posey’s individual impact. It will take a collective effort from everyone else stepping up to compensate for Posey’s absence while he recovers.

The good news is the Giants have a promising backup in Brown, who offers a ton of upside and is only 24 years of age. Brown, whom the team called  up for 13 games last season, will benefit immensely from the experience he’ll gain filling in for now.

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Buster Posey Injury: Updates on Giants Star’s Foot and Return

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey is dealing with a foot injury suffered last week. However, he’s ready to make his return to the field. 

Continue reading for updates.

Posey Active vs. Rockies

Thursday, April 14

The Giants announced Posey is starting and batting third on Thursday against Colorado. 

Posey Comments on Playing Status

Tuesday, April 12

Posey told reporters he thinks he can play Wednesday and hadn’t tested his foot running Tuesday.

When asked if he would have to be more limited in his running upon his return, Posey said, “I hope not. That’s a big part of my game,” per Andrew Baggarly of Bay Area News Group.

Posey Crucial to Giants’ Hopes

As the face of the Giants franchise during its semi-dynastic run of three World Series titles in five seasons, Posey is the signal-caller for San Francisco’s pitching staff and one of the most productive bats in the lineup.

In seasons during which he’s played at least 100 games, Posey has never hit below .294 or fewer than 15 home runs. It’s helped him garner three All-Star appearances, three Silver Sluggers and a batting title in 2012.

He’s solidified his spot as the No. 3 hitter in a Giants lineup that is lacking power. Posey was second on the team in home runs in 2015 with just 19, trailing shortstop Brandon Crawford’s 21.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Giants’ Madison Bumgarner-Buster Posey Duo Best MLB Battery in Decades

What has four legs, six rings and the undying affection of the City by the Bay?

That’d be the San Francisco GiantsMadison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, hands down the best battery in baseball and, in fact, the best pitcher/catcher pairing the sport has seen in decades.

Oh, sure, this week we learned that Bumgarner will miss one or two Cactus League starts with injuries to his foot and ribcage that he termed “minor,” per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. The big left-hander, Schulman added, insists he’ll make his scheduled Opening Day start.

Based on his track record of grit under pressure, we’re inclined to believe him. And we’ll assume that when he does, Posey will be in the squat.

If so, it’ll be another in a long list of watershed moments for San Francisco’s dynamic duo.

Despite their relative youthBumgarner is 26 and Posey turns 29 on March 27—the Giants’ ace and MVP backstop have shared a trio of championship runs. In 2014, Posey caught Bumgarner‘s transcendent Game 7 relief appearance against the Kansas City Royals, as well as all 52.2 frames of the southpaw’s historic postseason.

When Posey catches Bumgarner, whether in a Fall Classic elimination game or the Cactus League, one of the first things you notice is how infrequently Bumgarner shakes him off.

They’re simpatico, like all successful batteries must be. It’s a rhythm they began developing in the minor leagues, after the Giants drafted Bumgarner out of North Carolina’s South Caldwell High School in 2007 and Posey from Florida State the following year.

“They both kind of came up together at almost the same time,” Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said, per Schulman. “When they did, I noticed there was a rapport between the two of them right off the bat.”

They dress at adjoining lockers in Scottsdale, Schulman noted, and joke and tease like brothers.

They even manage to push each other at the plate. On July 13, 2014, they became the first pitcher and catcher in MLB history to each hit a grand slam in the same game, an 8-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. And last year, both took home Silver Slugger Awards for the second straight season.

Mostly, though, their success comes with 60 feet, 6 inches of separation between them. Posey is good no matter who he’s catching; he was the fourth-best pitch-framer in the game last season, per StatCorner, and seems destined to eventually win a Gold Glove. But his bond with Bumgarner specifically is undeniable.

So are the results. Bumgarner has eclipsed 200 innings in five consecutive seasons and made three All-Star teams in that stretch. And Posey, of course, has grabbed a batting title and an NL MVP Award during the same period, in addition to toiling capably under the tools of ignorance.

We said up there that they’re baseball’s best battery, and that’s a pretty uncontroversial statement. Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals have had plenty of superlative moments together, but both are attempting injury comebacks and appear to be on the downside of their careers.

Other than that, what’s the competition? The Toronto Blue Jays‘ Russell Martin and Marcus Stroman? The Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez and Edinson Volquez? No offense to those perfectly respectable twosomes, but they’re not even in the same stratosphere.

No, to find adequate comparables for Posey and Bumgarner, we have to reach further back into baseball history.

In the early 2000s, Jorge Posada was a perennial All-Star behind the dish for the New York Yankees. And he caught his share of excellent pitchers, including Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina and Roger Clemens. In the ’90s, Javy Lopez framed pitches for Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine during the Atlanta Braves‘ run of dominance, but he was nowhere near the talent Posey is.

So how far back do we go? Johnny Bench and Tom Seaver? Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford?

Yes, we’re dialing deep into the 20th century and dealing in legends and Hall of Famers. But that’s the company Posey and Bumgarner are moving into, and they’re each locked into long-term deals with the GiantsBumgarner through 2019 and Posey through 2022—meaning they’ll have ample opportunity to pad their mutual resume.

OK, here’s the part where we’re legally obligated to mention that it’s an even year. Which, since 2010, has meant orange and black confetti and a parade down Market Street. And, right on cue, the Giants spent $220 million to bolster their rotation with free agents Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija.

Bumgarner, however, remains the unquestioned ace. That’s why news of him missing a spring start or two is a big deal, even if the reason for it isn’t necessarily.

Along with Posey and skipper Bruce Bochy, he’s the thread that ties the Giants’ title trilogy together. If they’re going to get another one, the stud left-hander and his cherub-faced catcher will surely be in the middle of the magic yet again.

It almost feels like destiny, though as Schulman opined, “To say they were destined for greatness together is prosaic but inaccurate. Destiny in sports is earned.”

True enough. And as their ring-covered fingers attest, Bumgarner and Posey have earned it several times over.

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Selecting MLB’s 2015 Year-End All-Star Team

While it was an easy call to place the likes of Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper on this MLB 2015 Year-End All-Star Team, there were plenty of positions where the decision was far more challenging.

Simply put, there were a ton of spots with two or sometimes even three deserving players.

To figure out which position players would make the grade, stats like average, OBP, slugging percentage, OPS, extra-base hits, home runs and WAR were all taken into consideration. Defensive production was also considered—especially at shortstop and catcher, the premier defensive spots on the diamond.

When it came to selecting the starting pitcher and closer, stats like ERA, saves, strikeout-per-nine ratio, FIP, xFIP and WAR were all factored into the equation. And after crunching all those numbers, an unexpected ace ended up claiming the starting nod for this team.

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Giants’ Star-Studded Homegrown Infield Built for Long-Term Success

The shortstop originally signed for $375,000, and now he might be the best in the league. The third baseman signed for $50,000, and now he might be the Rookie of the Year.

These are the kinds of stories baseball people love, and the San Francisco Giants have an infield full of them. They have four homegrown starters that cost them not even $2 million in combined bonuses, and they may well have the best four-man unit in the game.

From first baseman Brandon Belt to second baseman Joe Panik to shortstop Brandon Crawford to third baseman Matt Duffy, they’re all good and getting better. They’re all young and under control. And if you add in catcher Buster Posey, also homegrown (although not signed on the cheap), they give the Giants reason to believe that this run of championships could last.

They’re not done this year, even after a lost weekend at Wrigley Field. They need to get Panik back healthy (he’s on the disabled list with a lower back strain and could return next week), and they need to get Mike Leake healthy (on the DL with a hamstring strain).

But it’s not at all crazy to suggest, as Giants pitcher Jake Peavy did Sunday (via John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle), that “this is a better ballclub than [the Giants] had last year.”

Last year’s Giants, as you may remember, won the World Series.

The Giants have won three times in five years, and it’s no longer newsworthy to say that they know what they’re doing. What is interesting is that after first winning because they did a better job than anyone at drafting and developing pitching, the Giants now have a chance to keep winning because they’ve been better than anyone at finding quality infielders.

Belt and Crawford have already been part of two championships, but Belt is 27 and Crawford is 28. Panik and Duffy, who contributed last October, are both just 24.

This season, all four have an OPS above .800 and an OPS+ of 128 or better, per Baseball-Reference.com, meaning that each has been about 30 percent better than average.

“And defensively, they’re like a bunch of Hoover vacuum cleaners on the infield,” said one rival scout who sees the Giants regularly.

It’s fun to hear scouts rave about the Giant infielders now because so many scouts missed on them in the past. Duffy was an 18th-round draft pick, Crawford a fourth-rounder and Belt a fifth-rounder. The Giants took Panik with the 29th pick overall in 2011, but at the time, many outside observers considered the pick something of a reach.

“Our scouts followed these guys for a number of years,” Giants scouting director John Barr said Monday. “They believed in them.”

But even the Giants themselves could be surprised.

Panik didn’t get a chance last season until Marco Scutaro got hurt and the Giants were desperate for help at second base. This year, the Giants signed Casey McGehee to replace Pablo Sandoval at third base and only turned to Duffy when McGehee flopped.

Soon enough, manager Bruce Bochy began batting Duffy third, just in front of Posey. And in a season where the National League is full of talented and touted rookies, Duffy’s Giants teammates have begun making the case that he could be the best of all.

“Duffy has been a ridiculous addition to this club,” outfielder Hunter Pence told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. “I don’t know how [others are] missing it, because we’re in the middle of the race and he’s doing so much for us. … You’re watching an incredible talent step into the league with Matt Duffy.”

The numbers show it. Baseball-Reference.com credits Duffy with a 3.8 WAR, tied with Pittsburgh‘s Jung Ho Kang for tops among major league rookies. Duffy’s 2015 WAR ranks third on the Giants, behind Posey (5.7) and Crawford (5.4), and just ahead of Panik (3.3) and Belt (3.0).

Not bad for a guy that Baseball America said last winter has left scouts around baseball shaking their heads.

On its list of top Giants prospects, Baseball America had Duffy ranked ninth. That’s right where Panik had been the year before. Neither ever came close to making the newspaper’s list of the top 100 prospects in the game.

In fact, of the four Giants infielders, only Belt made a Baseball America Top 100 list. He ranked 23rd in 2011, the only time he was ranked.

Prospect rankings are nice. Major league performance is better.

With their cheap, productive, young infield, the Giants will take what they have.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball. 

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Heralded Giants-Dodgers Rivalry Is Still Worthy of the Hype

LOS ANGELES – Gone are the days of pure hatred, the ones that caused Jackie Robinson to retire rather than play for the rival club, incited epic brawls and sparked beanball wars.

But the rivalry is not dead. Far from it. The fire still exists, as does the success.

Between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, five division titles and three World Series championships have been won in the last five seasons. Each team has had a National League MVP in the last three seasons and a combined five Cy Young Awards in the last seven.

They also play in two of the more gorgeous ballparks in the game—one with an aged charm nestled in a mountainous backdrop, the other a state-of-the-art joint sitting on a bay.

“They have a great place there, but so do we,” Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke said Sunday, two days before the Dodgers’ trip to San Francisco for the teams’ first meeting this season on Tuesday. 

Three World Series runs in five years by the Giants and three consecutive division titles by the Dodgers have given this rivalry a new bounce in its step. But because players shuttle from one team to another on a yearly basis and guys become offseason acquaintances, some of the heat has been extracted from every major league rivalry.

This one is no different, as the two teams have a combined 22 players that are either brand new or relatively new to the rivalry. And aside from Yasiel Puig and maybe Madison Bumgarner, there really are no players on either side that extract authentic venom from the other side, since Buster Posey and Clayton Kershaw are more vanilla superstars.

“Obviously there’s a rivalry,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “You can feel it. There’s intensity that’s different when we play them. 

“As far as players changing teams, that happens all over baseball. So every rivalry is going to feel the turnover. But the fans never change sides.”

And that is where any rivalry truly lives—in the stands, in the bars, among the diehards.

While there have been rare and extreme examples of this rivalry tragically spilling into the fandom—the Bryan Stow beating and the stabbing fatality of Jonathan Denver—fans now argue about things like the Dodgers trying to “buy” a title, or the Giants getting “lucky” in October, and of course, which stadium is a better place to take in a ballgame.

These debates are never truly settled, but Giants fans currently hold the trump card with those three championships that have turned Dodger fans into short-term lovers of the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals over the last five Octobers.

Sitting in the stands of these games, particularly in the outfield bleachers of either stadium, you understand the fervor. While fans usually refrain from wasting beer or souvenirs on players, they loudly spew their hatred with insults aimed at outfielders. And inning after inning, as the visiting team’s fans dare to move about the other team’s stadium, they endure insults unfit for juvenile ears.

“They definitely get a little meaner up there than in other cities,” Van Slyke said of patrolling the outfield at AT&T Park. “And I’m sure their guys hear it when they come here, too.”

The rivalry will evolve in the coming years. The Dodgers and Giants are both pulling in revenue at incredible levels, and while the Dodgers’ ownership has shown a complete willingness to spend it, the Giants’ ownership group has been more reluctant, although they still have a current payroll north of $170 million.

The Dodgers spent part of their last offseason acquiring front-office people to run their club. Andrew Friedman left the Tampa Bay Rays to become the Dodgers president of baseball operations. He then brought in a team of others to fall in line behind him, and together, they are seen as one of the brightest, most analytical front offices in the game today.

Meanwhile, the Giants, known to have a more traditionally run front office, recently reworked their configuration to make former GM Brian Sabean the team’s executive VP of baseball ops through 2019 and former assistant GM Bobby Evans the new GM. Assuming the Giants’ top brass gives the go-ahead to spend more money to keep up with their rivals in the near future, Sabean and Evans will remain the men who determine which players the team will invest in. 

The game’s economics make roster turnover a part of the sport as much as bat flips and beer, but that does not mean rivalries cannot remain heated. And when both teams are fighting for the same kind of success, it is bound to remain as such.

This week’s three-game series in San Francisco is the latest chapter in what has become one of the sport’s best rivalries, on and off the field.


All quotes, unless otherwise specified, have been acquired firsthand by Anthony Witrado. Follow Anthony on Twitter @awitrado and talk baseball here.

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Predicting the San Francisco Giants’ Starting Lineup Heading into 2015

The San Francisco Giants have won three World Series titles in the past five years. Manager Bruce Bochy guided his team through several peaks and valleys in 2014.

His calm demeanor was a soothing influence when the Giants struggled in the middle of the season. Bochy then pushed all the right buttons, and the Giants produced, enabling them to win it all.

The Giants held a parade throughout the streets of San Francisco. Dignitaries, players and management all spoke, and they lauded both the team and the fans of San Francisco. It was a good time had by all.

The business of baseball has now taken center stage, and the Giants are retooling their roster in the hopes of defending their world championship.

General manager Brian Sabean has not landed any of the high-priced, marquee names on the market. Instead, he and the Giants resigned some of their own free agents, like Sergio Romo and Jake Peavy.

In addition, the Giants made a small but significant trade with the Miami Marlins. They acquired third baseman Casey McGehee in exchange for two minor league pitchers.

We could still see one or two more moves from Sabean, but don’t count on it. The roster is fairly set, and although the Giants would like to add another top quality starting pitcher and a left fielder, getting those players is definitely not a sure thing.

Let’s take a look at the lineup as it stands now. 

All stats are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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