Giants send Buster Posey to Triple-A…for now

Leave a comment

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.

Mets to move Matt Harvey to the bullpen

Matt Harvey
AP Images
1 Comment

Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.

It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.

At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”

Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.