Blog Entry

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 3:58 pm

By Evan Brunell

Buster Posey's collision with Scott Cousins on Wednesday fractured a bone in his lower left leg, delivering a devastating blow to the Giants.

In addition to a broken leg, Posey is thought to have torn ligaments as well,  as CSN Bay Area reports. The Giants later announced that Chris Stewart has been recalled to take Posey's place, with Brandon Belt also joining the roster along with Brandon Crawford.

Posey's broken leg could heal in one-to-two months, a time span common for a broken leg. However, broken legs can mean a wide range of severity, and the complication of torn ligaments makes a possible ETA for a return that much more murky. Some players return from a broken leg inside two months. Others miss almost two full seasons, as Kendrys Morales of the Angels can attest. It would surprise no one if Posey was done for the season, but let's exercise some restraint and wait for further clarification. He will undergo a MRI Thursday that should clarify the issue, although in Pablo Sandoval's mind, the issue's already been clarified.

"Good morning I feel so bad because we lost buster for rest of the season it's gonna be hard with out him," Sandoval tweeted on Thursday.

Posey's agent, Jeff Berry, said he was planning on calling Joe Torre, the new leader of on-field operations, in the hopes of changing the rules that allow runners to barrel into catchers.

"You leave players way too vulnerable," Berry said. "I can tell you Major League Baseball is less than it was before [Posey's injury]. It's stupid. I don't know if this ends up leading to a rule change, but it should. The guy [at the plate] is too exposed.

"If you go helmet to helmet in the NFL, it's a $100,000 fine, but in baseball, you have a situation in which runners are [slamming into] fielders. It's brutal. It's borderline shocking. It just stinks for baseball. I'm going to call Major League Baseball and put this on the radar. Because it's just wrong."

"It's part of baseball. I understand that," Bochy said in a news conference on Thursday according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "Guys run into catchers. Being a catcher, I've been in a few of them. You're in harm's way there. I do think we need to consider changing the rules a little bit because the catcher's so vulnerable -- and there are so many who've gotten hurt, and just a little bit. I mean, they've had their careers or shortened. And here's a guy that's very popular in baseball. Fans want to see him play. Now, he's out for a while. I'd like to see maybe something considered here where we can protect these guys a little bit more. They just don't have the protection to take a guy coming in full speed, with that kind of force."

Bochy said he had previously spoken to Posey about not getting out in front and blocking the plate -- and to an extent, Posey tried to honor that.

"He was not completely in front of the plate. He was in a position where he could make a tag without being hit, too," Bochy said. "He just got himself in a tough position there because [the way] his leg was situated. He was down on one knee, and ideally, you'd like to have the foot pointed that way to protect you a little bit. But, again, you're trying to handle a throw. You don't have time to get set up perfectly. That's what hurt him was his leg was tucked underneath him when he got hit."

This is a sticky situation. On one hand, Bochy clearly feels that Cousins didn't need to take out Posey. On the other, it was a game in extra innings with a potential scoring play. Cousins and the ball both arrived to Posey at virtually the same time, and if Cousins had chosen to attempt to slide to the plate, there's no guarantee he would have made it. It's just an unfortunate end result, but that's baseball.

Cousins tried to reach out to Posey, leaving two voicemails and told reporters Monday he did not sleep Wednesday night. "The last thing I wanted to do was break the guy's leg," he told the Palm Beach Post.

Belt takes the place of outfielder and pinch-runner Darren Ford, who hit the DL with an ankle sprain. The Giants were originally going to resist calling Belt up to replace Ford, but the loss of Posey has changed matters as the Giants need to find a way to inject offense into the club, and fast. The Giants won't have any trouble fitting Belt into the lineup, as first baseman Aubrey Huff is struggling with the bat while left field can also accommodate Belt's production.

Even though Huff hasn't played third base since a 33-game stint in 2008, it's possible the Giants could slide him to third temporarily to get Belt's bat in at first base, which would allow the team to continue playing Pat Burrell and Nate Schierholz in the outfield. In this scenario, Miguel Tejada would move back to shortstop, a position he vacated to fill Pablo Sandoval's absence at third. Now that the Giants have also lost Mike Fontenot to the DL due to a groin strain, the options to fill the shortstop position are weak enough to the point the club would likely benefit from Tejada moving back to short all in the name of getting Belt's bat into the lineup.

Stewart has been with four different teams in the last five years, playing mostly at Triple-A. He received eight at-bats in 2006 for his career debut with the White Sox before collecting 43 plate appearances for the Rangers in '07. The 29-year-old moved onto the Yankees, snagging just one game's worth of playing time in '08, playing for New York's Triple-A team the entirety of 2009 before returning to the bigs with San Diego last season. At San Diego he appeared in two games as a defensive replacement. Now, Stewart could easily match his career 54 plate appearances as the new tandem in San Francisco. Eli Whiteside is expected to get the bulk of the playing time in the early going, but he doesn't exactly command being slotted in the lineup every day.

Crawford, meanwhile, was playing at high-Class A, hitting .322/.412/.593 in 69 plate appearances. He spent the bulk of 2010 with Double-A, hitting .241/.337/.375 and started the 2011 season with a broken finger. The corresponding move for Crawford is not yet known, but it is likely Fontenot to the DL. He'll be the infield backup, with Emmanuel Burriss likely slotting in at shortstop if they don't move Tejada back to short.

Assuming Posey is out for a long time, if not the rest of the season, the Giants may want to call up ex-Giant Bengie Molina, who was with San Francisco from 2007 until partway through last season, when he was moved to the Rangers and faced the Giants in the World Series. Molina, a free agent, has been waiting for both the right fit and price before playing again. He may have just found it.

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Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:31 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Please!!!! The runner has just as much right to the plate as the catcher does. Don't block the plate and you won't get wrecked in the process. If the catcher wants to put his body or leg in front of the plate to prevent the runner from reaching there, then the runner has every right to plow him over and get to his objective; home plate! Let's call all balls hit over the fence that are caught on the other side of the fence homeruns as well, they did break the plain of the wall. Better yet, outfielders can no longer jump up at the fence to ROB a hitter of a hit or homerun, it's not fair and leaves the hitter vulnerable to getting out.

How about if we put a shield around the pitchers mound so they can't be hit with a baseball in the head coming 120 mph at them and they are defenseless. We will also call the runner out for hitting a defenseless pitcher, who by the way, only has a mitt to protect himself with. Deal with the fact that Posey got cleated and is paying the price for it.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:30 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

They don't need a new rule. They just need to enforce the current rule about fielder interference with a runner. A fielder isn't allowed to impede a runner's path to a base while waiting on a throw. This applies to all bases. In other words a fielder is only supposed to be in the line between a runner and the base when he already has the baseball. Catchers seem to be exempt from this rule while blocking the plate for some reason, and so when a baserunner has a catcher between him and the plate waiting on a throw they blow the catcher up. It happens all the time. If a catcher is in a position straddling the plate similar to a fielder at any other base then there is no reason not to slide, but until they start getting called for interference blocking the plate, the catchers will feel that it improves the chances of preventing a run (which it does) and thus they take the risk.

Since: Jun 2, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:29 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Cheap Shot!

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:23 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Change the rules? What a bunch of liberal boohoos. Maybe MLB should start using Wiffle balls,plastic bats and four strikes.

Since: Dec 7, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:21 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

This was a baseball play. It's unfortunate for Posey and the Giants, but it was a clean play. The ball was there at the same time. If he tried to slide around him, Posey is going to move too and probably tag him out. The runner made a split second decision and it was the right decision for him and his team. This agent is a loser who is clearly just looking out for his player and/or money, but he clearly isn't a baseball fan. I'm glad there is a at least one Giants fan on here that sees that as a baseball play.

There is a huge difference between running over a catcher and a fielder at one of the other bases. As someone already said, you can't run through the other bases. Also, and more importantly IMO, home plate is where RUNS ARE SCORED. In that situation you have to fight to score the run (or stop the run). All the other bases don't have such a major impact on the game.

If you don't like this play, you don't like baseball. It's been part of the game forever. One of the reasons that makes baseball great is the tradition. You can't go changing rules because one player got hurt. If you don't want to get run over, don't play catcher. 

Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:19 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Marlins have a better record anyway. Cousins hardly wanted to injure Posey, and I like Posey as I knew him while at FSU.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:14 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Please stop bragging about your accolades makes you look like a self centered d000sh. Which you obviously are. LETS GO OAKLAND!

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:10 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

I just think the rule needs to be modified also to include the catcher cannot block the plate without the way they are allowed to now.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:06 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

When an unstoppable force meets a  moveable object, the unstoppable force wins. This injury could have, should have, & would have been prevented if MLB changed the rule as far back as when Pete Rose destroyed Ray Fosse's career.  If the 3rd base coach thinks the guy can score then they think they runner can touch the plate by slide. That's the chance the coach takes. Of course, the 3rd base coach is not getting walloped by a freight train. What does he care. Catcher's careersa are short as it is. Now a projected to be pretty good player's career may be over. That's what baseball is about? even a fooball player has better protection for a horrendous hit like that. a broken ankle? Show some cajones writers before a player gets "accidentally paralyzed".

Since: Apr 22, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:59 pm

Report: Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

the fleas of 1000 camels??? commie armpits??? thanks for making me laugh. I was crying bout Buster, but that sh!& is funny. Let me tell you all something, San Francisco is the best city in the world to be from, live in, and and be proud of. Stupid mouth, you are soo correct sir. I didn't graduate from college( SFSU, class of 04') and I'm very stupid (120 IQ and haven't had a drink since 1998). I'm a commie, Irish American whose family is part of SFPD. Yes, I do have a "proud to be a Democrat" bumper sticker because I am. This is about baseball, nimrod. best wishes to Buster, Fontenot.

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