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: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:13 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

This is and always has been how the game is played.  There's no crying in Baseball.  Flagrant Foul?  Unnecessary roughness?  Go watch football if you want to cry.

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:05 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

I saw the vicious hit Cousins delivered to Posey. Cousins made no attempt to slide, he was running straight up and he was gunning to knock Posey out....all this when the ball wasn't close to beating Cousins at the plate.

First, the ball did beat him to the plate, but Posey didn't handle it cleanly.

Other than that you described it exactly right. The problem is, its legal.

Since: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:04 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

 This was very similar to a play I saw in 1992 when Ken Caminiti (Houston) ran over Greg Olson (Atlanta) and broke his ankle in a home plate collision.

 Whether we like it or not, this is the name of the game. I have a broken nose from when a guy plowed me over in a softball game 2 years ago. There's no reason to get upset about it because that's the risk of playing the game. Speedy recovery, Buster.

Since: May 20, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:59 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

> It's sad there is so much response to this guy going down.  He's not even that good.

You have got to be kidding me? An A's fan complaining about the Giants lack of offense???? Crisp is your best hitter for heavens sake.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:57 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

I saw the vicious hit Cousins delivered to Posey. Cousins made no attempt to slide, he was running straight up and he was gunning to knock Posey out....all this when the ball wasn't close to beating Cousins at the plate.

To make matters worse Cousins was seen smirking at the dugout when the cameras were zooming in on him.

Cousins committed a flagrant foul against a Posey and should be dealt with accordingly. You guys remember when Pete Rose ran into Ray Fosse at the plate...well the All Star Fosse was never the same since that collision.

MLB should punish Cousins for unnecessary roughness. I say make the suspension fit the crime. You take someone out for a week or two..then you too shall miss the same amount of time. If you take out a player and he is gone for the year then your team owes the other team a high draft pick.

No, I'm not a Giants fan. But I do think that any player that gets "taken out" while at home plate or at second should be severely punished. 

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:49 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

MLB/MLBPA need to get together and protect the catcher in these situations.  I won't pretend that I have the answer, but the current rule that allows such plays to take place is not it.  The catcher is vulnerable as hell in these situations.  They are a sitting duck with somebody running full speed and lowering a shoulder into their chest/head.  

The chest protecter isn't made for such contact.  It absorbs energy, but anybody that has played the position knows it isn't protection from these types of hits.  No head protection is usually on in these situations either by the catcher.  


Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:43 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

As a Marlins fan I was glad to see the Fish win in dramatic fashion, but the rule is, in my opinion, silly.

With all the talk of concussions in sports, not to mention how much bigger, faster and stronger guys are today, allowing this play does not make sense.

If you look at the college rule, it makes sense.
You cannot block the plate if you are not in the act of fielding the ball, otherwise its obstruction (count the run).
You cannot make violent intentional contact with a fielder, even if you are obstructed (its an ejection).

Thus if the catcher blocks the plate with the ball or well making a play on the ball, and you drill him, you are out and ejected for malicious contact (in this case the malicious contact supercededs interference whether it exists or not).
If the catcher is blocking the plate illegally and you drill him, you score on obstruction and are ejected for malicious contact.

The only way the current rule makes sense is if you think its acceptable to let a fully grown man run over a fielder, at full speed, and while the fielder is in a vulnerable position.

Since: Apr 18, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:20 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 15, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:15 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Unfortunately, there is no acknowledged base line when coming home.  The umps didn't blow anything.  It is what it is, an unfortunate situation that may cost Posey his season.

Since: Nov 15, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:12 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

He didn't do it to be seen, he did it to win the game.  There was nothing cheap about it.  It is a play that happens dozens of times every year in baseball.  Unfortunately, a great young player will be lost for the season because of it.  If it was cheap or dirty, then why has every baseball analyst on every sports station known to mankind failed to call it a dirty play. 

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