Following Friday night's loss (TEX 7, SF 6), the Giants are now 63-67 and nine games back in the NL West. They are nine games back of the second wild card spot with six teams ahead of them. San Francisco has lost 21 of their last 34 games and SportsLine puts their postseason odds at less than one percent.
With the club out of the postseason race, Buster Posey has decided to undergo season-ending hip surgery, reports Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. The surgery, which comes with a 6-8 month recovery timetable, will take place Monday. Here are some more details:
Posey’s surgery will be in Vail, Colorado with Dr. Phillipon. Arthroscopic. He hopes to be ready to start behind the plate on opening day. Procedure should restore full function. Labrum repair plus bone spurs.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 25, 2018
"If we go smoothly with no hiccups, I'll be ready to go next Opening Day," said Posey to Baggarly. He also clarified he meant ready to go behind the plate. Posey sat out the All-Star Game with hip trouble last month and he's been playing hurt for weeks, which helps explain his relative lack of production at the plate. He's currently slugging .382 with five home runs in 105 games.
Posey is undeniably one of the best catchers of his generation, but he will turn 32 in March, and a major hip surgery creates some questions about just how much he'll be able to catch going forward. He is one of only 68 men to catch at least 800 games through their age 31 season. Removing active players and the late Thurman Munson, who died in a plane crash at 32, gets us down to 57 players. Their career workloads:
- Average number of games caught through age 31: 1,011
- Average number of games caught age 32+: 366
Only 23 of those 57 players caught as many as 400 games after turning 32. Posey is already at the age where you'd expect his workload behind the plate to decrease. It's a brutal position that takes a heavy toll on the body. Hands get beat up, knees get achy, and hips can become problematic as well. Posey is already up there in catcher years and now he's having major hip surgery.
The Giants play in the National League, so they won't be able to use Posey at DH going forward, even part-time. First baseman Brandon Belt is signed through 2021, though he does have some outfield experience, and he may see more action out there going forward if Posey needs more time at first base following hip surgery. Managing Posey's catching workload post-hip surgery may take some creativity. That's something the Giants will figure out when the time comes.
For now, Posey will undergo season-ending hip surgery Monday and begin the grueling 6-8 month rehab. That timetable seems to put him in line to return for spring training and be ready for Opening Day, though I'm sure the Giants won't rush their franchise catcher. Posey is signed through 2021 and the team wants to keep him as healthy and productive as possible, even if it means reducing his catching workload going forward.