I don’t believe we ever officially welcomed Andrew Baggarly to the fold over here. Already my favorite Giants beat writer, he just made the move from the San Jose Mercury News to CSN Bay Area, where he’ll continue covering the team.
Baggarly today provides a full rundown on the current plans for Buster Posey, who is coming back from last year’s gruesome ankle injury. He’s all ready to play and he’ll catch a couple of pitchers during the first official workouts in Giants camp on Sunday, but he’ll also have a light workload initially in camp and he might spend some time at first base in an effort to keep him strong.
If you want more details than that, go read the full article. Or just do it anyway. We’re all one big happy family here under the Comcast umbrella.
Except, of course, I have to pick on Baggarly now, because he closes his article with this:
Everyone knows it: Posey’s recovery is the most significant storyline for the Giants this spring and it’s integral to their chances to reestablish themselves in the NL West. It’s no surprise that a large number of national media members have requested time with him after Sunday’s workout. The Giants arranged a news conference setting to deal with the requests.
Maybe it won’t be on par with the annual “State of Barry” news events. But Posey is every bit as important to the Giants as Barry Bonds used to be.
No. No way. Not even close. Probably no one since Babe Ruth has ever been as important to his team as Barry Bonds used to be. Forget for a moment about how he got to be the player he was and just amaze at the numbers: Bonds posted an OPS over 1.000 in 13 straight seasons, topping out at 1.422. He won seven NL MVP awards, including four in a row from 2001-04. Those four seasons rank fourth, second, eighth and first all-time on the single-season OPS list.
I’m a big Buster Posey fan, but the odds are against him winning even one NL MVP award. His health is a huge key to the Giants’ chances this season. But the Giants did manage to go 86-76 without him last year. When Bonds missed most of 2005, the Giants slipped from 91 wins to 75.
Even while injured, Miguel Cabrera is a force to be reckoned with. The 33-year-old slugger has been playing with a contusion on his knee since Wednesday, according to postgame comments made by Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus.
That didn’t stop him from whacking a 410-foot home run against Atlanta right-hander Matt Wisler on Friday night, skirting the center field fence to put the Tigers up 3-0 in the first inning. In the third, he lead off the inning with another long drive off of Wisler, targeting his changeup for a 421-foot shot, his 38th home run of the season:
It’s Cabrera’s sixth two-run homer game since the start of the season, and his first against the Braves since 2005. He needs just two more home runs to keep an even 40 on the year, which would return him to the kind of league-leading levels that accentuated his MVP case in 2012 and 2013. If he can do it by the end of this Tigers-Braves game (unlikely, but not unheard of), he’ll be the 15th major leaguer to hit four home runs in a single game.
The Reds will roll with manager Bryan Price for at least one more season. Per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, Price has been extended through the 2017 season with a club option for 2018. He won’t be the only familiar face leading the team, as the Reds have reportedly asked the entire coaching staff to return as well.
This is Price’s second consecutive season with 90+ losses since Cincinnati signed him to a three-year contract back in 2014. While he hasn’t been able to replicate the same kind of success that former skipper Dusty Baker found in 2012 and 2013, he’s been saddled with a team that’s still in the throes of rebuilding, not one that looks on the cusp of playoff contention. It is, after all, the same team that has not seen a healthy season from Homer Bailey since Price’s arrival, one that unloaded Jay Bruce for a pair of prospects earlier this year and one whose pitching staff set a single-season record for most home runs given up by a major league team.
Justifying Price’s extension requires a different kind of yardstick, one that measures player development and individual success over the cumulative win-loss record. Here, Price has overseen solid performances from contributors like Adam Duvall, who is batting .244/.297/.506 with 2.9 fWAR in his first full major-league season, as well as young arms like Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, and Michael Lorenzen, among others.
From comments made by Reds’ CFO Bob Castellini, Price’s success within a rough rebuilding process appears to have cemented his place within the club, at least for the time being.
I like the young, aggressive team Walt and Dick have put together with players from within our system and from recent trades. […] Bryan has been here seven seasons now. He’s comfortable with the direction we are heading with our young players, and we are comfortable with him leading us in that direction.