Giants call up Buster Posey

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Buster Posey batting practice.jpgLast night, a source told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that the Giants were going to call up Buster Posey before Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks.

Well, Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse and ESPN’s Buster Olney just confirmed it. Posey is on his way back to the big leagues.

On Friday afternoon, Craig pointed us to a post where Baggarly assumed Posey would play first base upon his promotion and he held true to that belief after Friday’s news:

Posey started at first base for the second consecutive time Friday
night. Cuuurious. It’s a pretty safe assumption he was doing
more than just resting his knees from catching. He was 2-for-3 with a
double, a walk and an RBI, lifting his PCL average to .349.

I think Posey will get most of his starts at first base, with Aubrey
Huff moving to left field. But Bengie Molina was hitless again Friday
night and extended his streak to 19 games without an RBI. He’s hitting
just .203 in May.

In other words, as opposed to last September, Posey will actually play this time.

Posey, 23, is batting .349/.442/.552 with six home runs and 32 RBI over 172 at-bats with Triple-A Fresno this season. The 2008 first-round pick has a .333/.427/.542 batting line in parts of three minor league seasons. Even better, he has a 102/98 K/BB ratio in 750 plate appearances. He’ll bring some much needed patience to a lineup that has severely lacked it for quite some time now.

By the way, Posey will be a “Super Two” if he is up in the big leagues to stay. Remember, he already has 33 days of service time due to his call-up last season.
 

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.