Before the San Francisco Giants played in front of their crowd on Saturday, the fans were treated to a ceremony of Buster Posey’s National League MVP Award and Silver Slugger Award from last season. Along with being the comeback player of the year, it’s a testament to how worthy the 26-year-old catcher is. But there’s a limit to how far that should be tested.
Posey’s new contract extends all the way until 2021. It’s assumed that part of the $167 million is for the multiple positions he will likely play. Last season, 29 of Buster’s 130 starts came at first base with the others in his normal catching spot.
If it’s a last-second need, like Posey’s lone start at first base this season when Brandon Belt fell ill, then it’s fine in the short term. But Posey’s health needs to be considered now that he’s signed for an extended period of time.
Bruce Bochy sees it the same way. According to an article from the Giants’ official website, “Bochy only went as far as saying ‘maybe’ Posey would appear at first base a few more games this year.”
Joaquin Arias is listed as third on the depth chart at first base. While he’s primarily a backup at third base and shortstop, it would be beneficial if he could also get more time at first base — he played six innings back in spring training. If not, then perhaps Brett Pill can come up to fill the void after rehabilitating his right meniscus jersey. He’s due back in mid-April.