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: Jan 27, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:58 pm

Report: Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Same kind of thing happened to Carlos Santana last season. Some rules got to be changed. This is baseball - not football or hockey


Since: Jul 12, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:55 pm

Report: Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

guess Posey's agent isn't a baseball fan.  Saying there needs to be a rule change is ridiculous.  There have been collisions at home plate for as long as there's been baseball.  That's part of the game.  Is baseball supposed to make a rule change every time a player gets hurt? 

You make a valid point here.  to those of you calling it a cheap shot, get real.  The runner has absolutely no protection, except maybe his batting gloves.  The catcher is decked out (no pun intended) in full gear.  So, who has the advantage. Look at the physics, slam a car into a wall at 10 mph, which receives the most damage ? Better yet, maybe you should take up badmitten...Oh, here is a novel idea for the safety of baseball, since the pitchers are throwing 95mph + fastballs, that is way too dangerous, isnt it, to remedy that, lets just put the ball on a tee and let them hack away, problem solved  GO BRAVES !!!

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:54 pm

Report: Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Because you can't overrun the other bases.  If you barrel over the third baseman and go tumbling past the base you will get tagged out.  At home plate that isn't an issue assuming you already tagged.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:51 pm

Report: Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

I have never agreed with running the catcher over in baseball. As Brunnel states it leaves the catcher too vulnerable to injury often not even being able to brace themselves or prepare for the impact. I wonder what would happen to a player running to first ran over the 1st baseman trying to get to the bag or any other infielder. Many will say it is part of the game. But, it is time to modify the rule. Players are bigger, stronger and faster than in the past thew wil continue to improve athletically. I am not a Ginat fan but a basbeball fan who thinks the rule needs to be modified somehow to offer more protection for the catcher.

Since: Feb 11, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:47 pm

Report: Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

hey, crueboy, maybe someone should run smack dab into your stupid mouth!  You obviously know nothing about human kindness when you wish harm on another person.  All I can say is "may the fleas of a 1000 camels infest your left coast, commie armpits!"

Since: Jan 3, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:41 pm

Report: Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

I don't know if it was a cheap shot or not. Probably the folks who watch NASCAR for the accidents won't think so. It was at least unnecessary. The left leg was not in front of the plate. It was planted behind the plate and didn't give way when he was hit. And of course only an idiot would try to block the plate with their right foot. If the Giants are smart and realize that their biggest problem is hitting the ball, we'll see Belt at first, Huff at third, and Panda back behind the plate.

Since: Apr 22, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:38 pm

Report: Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

The Giants are not done. When our pitching takes a significant hit, then we are done. Prayers for Buster's strength. Still say, send a message to Florida. It's bad enough Florida helped ruin a country for at least 4 years with the election of "Skippy," to the White House. Why couldn't AJ Pierzinsky run smack dab into W? True San Franciscan, I am no transplant, I probably teach any of you visiting SF because I am a tour guide. Buster, you will be missed. Pablo come back soon. Sabean, think Benjie. Eli and Stewart can't lead this team back. Is it time to concede the season to the Braves and Phillies? The Giants may still take the West, because it IS that BAD!!!

San Francisco Giants World Series Champions 2010

Since: Jul 7, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:36 pm

Report: Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Oh sure....this is the runner's fault.  Maybe catchers shouldn't be allowed to block the plate.  That's how it works at every other base.......

Since: May 1, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Report: Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Maybe its also time for catchers not to block home plate. I always thought a fielder was not able to block the basepath. I know catchers are allowed to block home plate but then the runner is also trying to reach home plate. Maybe the catcher either has to be facing second base or first base from any of the fielders so that hes not blocking the base path. Just a suggestion so the catcher won't get hurt.

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:33 pm
This comment has been removed.

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