Buster Posey’s rehab is going off without a hitch

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Chris Haft of MLB.com checked in yesterday with Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner, who said that Buster Posey’s rehab from left leg injuries is going well.

Groeschner said that Posey’s current regimen mainly involves cardiovascular work, such as riding a stationary bicycle and running on a treadmill. In early January, Posey will resume baseball-related activities such as hitting and throwing and will run on flat ground. He performed these activities during September and October at the Giants’ training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Posey’s 2011 season came to an unfortunate and ugly end in a nasty home-plate collision with the Marlins’ Scott Cousins in late-May. The injuries included torn ligaments in his left ankle and a fractured bone in his lower leg.

The Giants expect Posey to be ready to participate in drills when spring training begins in mid-February. The plan calls for him to be the primary catcher next season, though Bruce Bochy said earlier this week that they may give him occasional playing time at first base in order to keep his bat in the lineup and ease the burden on his leg.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.