Keeping Buster Posey Behind Plate Will Cost San Francisco Runs

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey survived his first play at the plate since suffering multiple leg injuries in a collision last May.

While some are applauding his fearlessness, if any other catcher would have taken the same approach on the play as Posey, they’d probably be forced to spend all day today studying film and working on their technique.

The throw came in from center and Posey was a good step farther in front of the plate than you’d usually see. That left the door wide open to Texas Rangers runner Mitch Moreland, who did a good job recognizing this, and slid to the outside of the plate. Posey lunged, but his tag was high, hitting Moreland after he had touched safely.

The Rangers scored, but Posey survived the encounter without a scratch. Exactly what the Giants were looking for.

Here’s what Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters after the game:

“You’re going to have plays at the plate. He’s going to have a lot of plays out there. He’s going to be more comfortable with each play. You move on and continue to work on plays at the plate. For his first play at the plate, I thought he handled it well.”

I don’t have a problem with San Francisco trying to protect their young star, I just think if he’s not going to be able to do his job behind the plate then they need to move him to another, safer position. The new, “swipe tag” technique of Posey will likely only cost the Giants a few runs next year, but if they’re still one of the worst offenses in baseball those few runs will hurt them more than most teams.

I will agree with the team, however, that if Posey insists on catching, they need to keep him in the lineup. A collision at the plate on May 25 resulted in a broken fibula and torn ankle ligaments for Posey, who missed the rest of the season. The Giants ended up missing the playoffs by just four games.

Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner put it best when he told reporters after the game “one run’s not worth him missing the whole year again.”

A key contributor on the Giants’ 2010 World Series team, Posey won the NL Rookie of the Year. He was off to a solid, but not spectacular, start in 2011and is expected to be San Francisco’s cleanup hitter this season.

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