Buster Posey was involved in a play at the plate last night for the first time since he suffered a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments in a collision with Marlins’ outfielder Scott Cousins last May 25.
Rangers’ shortstop Elvis Andrus singled into center field and center fielder Angel Pagan made a strong throw to the plate. Posey positioned himself a couple feet in front of home plate to receive the throw and made a lunging swipe tag at a sliding Mitch Moreland. The runner was ruled safe, but most importantly, Posey made it through the play unscathed.
While it was an important hurdle to cross, Posey told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that he was mostly focused on his technique.
“I was more thinking kind of about the work we’d done this spring and all the practice and stuff,” Posey said. “And I think … I think it was good.”
Reflecting on Posey’s collision with Cousins is inevitable and it will likely be brought up every time a runner is bearing down on him this season and perhaps for longer, but hopefully we’ll get to the day where plays at the plate become routine again.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.