We saw Buster Posey play all spring, but last night was his first official major league game since he suffered a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments in a home-plate collision with Marlins’ outfielder Scott Cousins last May 25.
Posey told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that he “felt normal,” even though the season opener didn’t go exactly as he would have hoped.
Posey made a key error in the bottom of the sixth inning, bobbling a tapper out in front of the plate which allowed Jason Kubel to reach first base. The next batter, Ryan Roberts, then hit a two-run double to put the Diamondbacks in front. Posey had a chance to redeem himself in the top of the ninth with the tying run on second and two outs, but closer J.J. Putz was able to get him to ground out to shortstop to end it.
It wasn’t all bad news for Posey, though. He went 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk and now owns a 14-game hitting streak dating back to last year. That’s the longest active hitting streak in MLB if you don’t count Magglio Ordonez (18-game hitting streak), who is unsigned and appears headed for retirement.
The current plan calls for Posey to catch each of the Giants’ next two games before potentially getting a start at first base on Monday against the Rockies.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.