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: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:39 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

This is and always has been how the game is played. 

This is what I don't understnad about baseball and its "traditions":

If a guy doesn't round the bases quickly enough on a homer, steals a base when his team is ahead/behind by too much, lays down a bunt in the wrong situation, etc. etc. etc., then it is perfectly acceptable to drill him with a 90 mph fastball.

What this basically says is that it is ok to do something illegal if you disapprove of a legal action committed by another player.

Which basically means that some rules are disregarded, and that's part of the game.

Yet when someone suggests that a rule (or lack of a rule) which really provides little benifit with a lot of risk (like the lack of a crash rule) be reexamined, it's always met with the "that's baseball" line.

If the rules baseball is actually played by should never change, then why not align them with the official rules?

Make it a rule that if you loaf around the bases on a homer, the pitcher gets to drill you in the rear.
Make it a rule that if you lay down a bunt in the 7th innning of a no-hitter, you are automatically out.

My point is that while I think the lack of a crash rule is silly, I think it's fine for MLB to do what MLB wants with its rule book. But the fact that baseball defends both its rulebook and the scantly legislated situations where its ok to forget the rulebook, does not make sense to me.

Finally, the statement I quoted above isn't really even true anymore. Every kid who grew up playing baseball played under a different set of rules. Bean balls, run-overs, spikes up, etc. are all policed, even in the NCAA. There is no reason why MLB can't eliminate the things that don't contribute to the game (like guys running 300 ft. from the bullpen just because a batter and a cather go chest-to-chest). Whether it has always been that way or not, it still doesn't make much sense today.

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:36 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Typical dumb-ass Dodger fan. You have no clue how important Posey is to the pitching staff, the offense and too baseball itself. That's why your team hasn't won in years, You and your management have no clue what a good palyer looks like. Show me another rokkie catcher that batted in 4th position in the playoff's, including the World Series? Show me another roolie catcher that called games for a vertern pitching staff, including the playoffs and Worl Series and was rarely shaken off? And by the way, I'm sure any intelligent orginization in baseball would give up plenty to have Posey in thier team.,,,,you moron.  

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:35 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Neveremind, you just must be a busted a$$ bitter Phillies fan...

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:33 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Phillies R2C2,

I ask you this then... why not just make the easy slide and take the 1 run lead. Posey wasnt in front of the plate. So what was the purpose of barrelling into Posey, who was to the side of the plate?

Do your homework you f***ing idiot before trying to make some smartass comment. Move along youngster...

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:32 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

I have never seen so many morons protect the right to injure another player as "part of the game"

And I've never seen so many whiny crybabies bitching about a play that's been legal in baseball since the game began.  My lord, grow a set, David, and stop being such a crybaby.  

Bob Gibson got to throw at peoples heads because it was "part of the game". They changed it.

Throwing at a guy's head is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from running over a Catcher at home plate.  Try using a better analogy next time, Dumbass.

   Do you own a DVD of the Theissman hit?

Do you watch the Lifetime Network on a daily basis? 

Since: Jul 13, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:28 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

How come nobody was calling for a rule change when Carlos santana was carted off the field last year?  and Busters agent should just shut up, only reason he cares is cause he's losing money

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:27 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Kid just out to make a name for himself

You're absolutely right!  On his way to home plate, Cousins started thiking "I'm going to make a name for myself and run over Buster Posey.  Maybe that will get me in the newspaper tomorrow."


Since: Jan 3, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:22 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt


I have never seen so many morons protect the right to injure another player as "part of the game". Bob Gibson got to throw at peoples heads because it was "part of the game". They changed it. Do you own a DVD of the Theissman hit?

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:19 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Go look at the replay. Posey wasnt in front of the plpate. There was a clean lane to home on the right side. Easily could have slid in and hit  home with foot or hand. Kid just out to make a name for himself. Too bad he is now a martyr

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:16 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt


Jesus, I've never seen such a bunch of crybabies in my entire life.  Cousins running over Posey was a PERFECTLY LEGAL PLAY considering Posey was blocking the plate.  Running over the Catcher has been a part of baseball for my entire life and baseball shouldn't change the rules because ONE player got injured.  If you don't want your Catcher to get injured, then the guy shouldn't block the plate.

As for the MORONS who say Cousins was out of the baseline....get a clue!  The guy was well within the baselines and has as much of a right to home plate as Posey does to block it.  Posey was CLEARLY in front of home plate and Cousins chose to go through him rather than slide under him.  It was a legal play and I give Cousins credit for playing hard and attempting to win the game on that play. 

It certainly sucks for Posey because I think he's going to be one of the best players in the league as he gets's just an unfortunate situation.  Hopefully Posey will recover sooner rather than later and come back for the Cinderella one-hit wonder Giants this season.  They weren't going to win anything this year anyway and I like watching Posey play.     

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