As expected, the Giants sent prospect catcher Buster Posey to Triple-A Fresno on Friday night. The 23-year-old batted .321/.357/.453 with one home run, nine RBI and five runs runs scored in 53 at-bats this spring, leaving little doubt that he’ll be with the big club at some point this season. But for now, Giants manager Bruce Bochy tells the San Francisco Chronicle that he wants Posey to play every day in the minor leagues:
“He had a good spring,” Bochy said. “We just feel at this time that
Posey needs to go down and continue to get playing time and get his
at-bats. We told him what the plans are.”
This is potentially a case of the Giants having their cake and eating it too. By sending Posey to the minors for a few months, they’ll ensure that as opposed to Tim Lincecum, Posey will avoid Super Two status. They also rather conveniently arranged Bengie Molina’s one-year, $4.5 million contract for a series of $250,000 bonuses once he reaches 90th start behind the plate, totaling to $1.5 million with 115 games started.
I’d be shocked if Posey isn’t back in the major leagues by the time the first bonus kicks in. In fact, I’d equate the chances of Molina getting 115 starts behind the plate this season to Johnny Damon collecting his $10,000 bonus for a Gold Glove.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.