Buster Posey catches two innings in first game since collision last May

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We’ve provided pretty consistent updates on Buster Posey since his season ended last May with a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments following a collision with Marlins’ outfielder Scott Cousins. But after months of talking about the latest step in his rehab process, we finally have some baseball results to pass along.

Posey caught two innings yesterday in his Cactus League debut against the Reds. Though his appearance was brief, he managed to block some balls in the dirt and threw down to second base on a successful stolen base attempt by Miguel Cairo. He had the unenviable task of facing hard-throwing left-hander Aroldis Chapman in his only at-bat, running the count to 2-2 before flying out to right field.

The goal is being ready for Opening Day, but Posey told John Schlegel of MLB.com that he was pretty satisfied with his debut.

“I haven’t played since the end of last May, so I definitely had some nerves — good nerves, though,” Posey said.

“This is part of the process. We’ll see how my ankle responds tomorrow. From all indications now, I think it’ll be good. We’ve stuck to the plan the whole way.”

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Posey’s next step will be catching four innings, likely on Sunday. The hope is to stretch him out to seven or eight innings by the middle of the exhibition schedule and having him catch a full nine-inning game before the team breaks camp.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.