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.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.