Giants add top prospect Posey to aid postseason push

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In a surprising turn of events, the Giants have opted to call up 2008 first-round pick Buster Posey to help out with Bengie Molina still struggling due to a strained right quad.

 

The Giants had indicated that Posey would finish the season in the minors and then get a break before taking part in the Arizona Fall League.  The 22-year-old Florida State product hit .326/.428/.540 with 13 homers in 291 at-bats for Single-A San Jose and .321/.391/.511 with five homers in 131 at-bats for Triple-A Fresno this season.  The Giants purposely kept him off their Double-A Connecticut affiliate, which plays in a terrible environment for hitters.  His numbers have definitely been aided by playing in strong hitters ballparks in leagues that enhance offense, but his first full pro season has gone as well as anyone could have hoped.

 

Posey still doesn’t figure to have a particularly big role with the Giants this month.  Molina’s injury has become a bigger issue than anticipated, but he’s expected back as the regular catcher before long.  Posey will serve as protection there and as a pinch-hitter.  His ability to make contact could make him very useful in that role, and he shouldn’t be dismissed as a postseason roster possibility just yet.

 

The late callup also serves as an audition for Posey.  Molina is a free agent this winter, and while the Giants would likely be happy to bring him back for 2010, they shouldn’t match the multiyear commitments he could receive from other teams.  If Posey shows enough in his limited time behind the plate, the Giants could be more open about turning the job over to him on Opening Day.  That he’ll already have 33 days of service time may work in his favor.  Teams these days find it pretty reasonable to keep a prospect in the minors for two months to guarantee they won’t have super-two eligibility.  However, the Giants now would have to wait until July to turn to Posey.  It might make more sense to simply bite the bullet and go with him the whole year.

Twins reach historic home run total during 11-4 rout of White Sox

Max Kepler
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The Twins trampled the White Sox on Friday night, cruising to a cool 11-4 lead over their division rivals and collecting their sixth double-digit win of 2019. Even more impressive, they picked up their 99th, 100th, and 101st home runs, a feat that’s rarely been matched in a team’s first 50 games of any given season.

The first homer of the night was delivered by Eddie Rosario in the third inning. Working against a single-run deficit, Rosario lifted an 0-1 fastball from the White Sox’ Reynaldo López, planting it firmly in the left field stands and evening the score, 4-4. Two batters later, Rosario’s solo home run got a sequel: a 398-footer from Miguel Sanó, this one postmarked for the upper deck in left.

In the fourth, now leading 5-4, the Twins saw a third and final homer from the bat of Max Kepler, whose center-field blast traveled a projected 397 feet to give the club a two-run advantage. Per MLB Stats, the Twins’ record — 101 homers in 50 games — stands second only to that of the 1999 Mariners, who managed to club 102 home runs before their 51st game of the season.

While the record has undoubtedly been a team effort, Rosario leads the pack with a team-best 15 homers so far this year, closely followed by C.J. Cron (13), Max Kepler (11), and Jonathan Schoop (10). Sanó, whose solo shot marked the team’s 100th home run of 2019, has just five, though there’s little doubt he’ll reach double digits before the end of the season.

According to MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, the Twins also made it to an even 300 runs scored in 2019, for a satisfying average of six runs per game and a new franchise record (previous high mark: 273 runs scored in 1992). With the win, they improved to 34-16 on the year and continue to hold a comfortable eight-game lead in the AL Central.