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: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 3:05 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Let me make this clear, if the runner can blow up the catcher while simultaneously scoring the run by touching the plate, then great, the catcher is in the way. It isn't the runners job to avoid contact with the catcher at all costs, it is the catchers job to not be interfering with the runners ability to score a run before he has possession of the baseball. In other words if you are in position to prevent the runner from crossing the plate and you don't have the ball you better be prepared for a colision. Every catcher knows this.

Since: Mar 15, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 3:04 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Gosh darn it anyways! The Giants need to get this guy out from behind the plate! Posey has a chance to be something special but he is going to take a beating behind the plate that will shorten his career!


Lots of smack being talked by A's fans! Lol

When was the last time the A's actually won something?

Since: Apr 22, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:58 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

the A's. You mean the team we swept. Right, lets go Oakland. lol

Since: Apr 22, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:58 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

the A's. You mean the team we swept. Right, lets go Oakland. lol

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:58 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

And to anyone who thinks the play was dirty (since it is obviously perfectly legal). My opinion is obviously biased, but a dirty play comes down to intent. Cousins intent was to break up the play and score which he did successfully. Afterwords he was visibly upset that the play resulted in an injury to Posey. Compare that to a collision on Brett Hayes last year by Nyjer Morgan (who a couple games prior was involved in another similar collision) in which Morgan made no attempt to score, ran past the plate entirely, and barreled into Hayes for the out despite the fact that a slide would have made him safe. Hayes suffered a separated shoulder. Afterwords Morgan expressed nothing in terms of an apology to Hayes. The injury wasn't a shock, but infact a successful result in his mind.

So any Giants fans calling for a humbled Scott Cousins' head today just keep that in mind.

Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:54 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

I'll put it very simply... catcher didn't block the plate. Maybe you should watch a replay next time... It's not an illegal play, but was dirty as hell. Baserunner crossed over dugout side of 3rd base line and into the infield to place head on infield side of the catcher as they collided, keep in mind catcher was in front of home plate. Just a dirty play and so when runner gets beaned in the head next time teams meet, he will understand... again, not illegal, but dirty play!

Since: Jan 3, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:54 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Let me take the flowers out of my hair (because that's the way we all are out here in pinkoland) and suggest that since baseball is a business, there will eventually be a rule change, like it or not. Too much money gets lost when star players get injured needlessly. There will be a lane similar to the one up the first base line in which the runner must run and from which the catcher is excluded. If the catcher blocks the lane the runner is automatically safe. If the runner hits the catcher outside the lane he's automatically out.

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:53 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

Part of the game.  So is Gabby Sanchez getting a fast one to the ear hole today.

Hurricane Guru
Since: Mar 10, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:40 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:34 pm

Posey breaks leg, Giants call for Belt

another reason baseball stinks now..this is a play that has been part of baseball since it began so now of course todays supposed bigger,faster,better athletes want it changed..inside pitching has been relegated out of the game..sliding hard into 2nd is all but gone..playimg hard on every play is frowned upon..ridiclous..get over it SF fans if pat burrel had bowled over john buck of FLORIDA you would have been calling it great play and so would bruce bochy..tough play but part of the game deal with it..

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