From beat writer Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle comes word that Buster Posey is back in the Giants’ starting lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Diamondbacks after sitting out four consecutive games because of a small fracture at the tip of his right ring finger.
Posey will play first base instead of catcher, and that may be a regular thing down the stretch as the out-of-contention defending World Series champions wrap up their disappointing 2013 regular season.
Posey suffered the fracture on Tuesday night when he was clipped on his right hand by a Madison Bumgarner pitch that bounced off the lip of home plate. The ball also ripped off the nail on his right ring finger — which sounds extremely painful.
Posey, 26, is batting .309/.377/.475 with 14 home runs and 69 RBI in 130 games for the 63-79 Giants.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.