Giants send Buster Posey to Triple-A…for now

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posey swining.JPGAs 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.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.