The Giants may call up Buster Posey earlier than thought

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posey swining.JPGWhen Buster Posey was sent down during spring training the thought was that the team was doing the service time thing and wouldn’t think about calling him back up until June.  Henry Schulman of the Chronicle reports, however, that the Giants are reconsidering this and may call him up sometime in the next week or two and would consider giving him at bats at Bengie Molina and Aubrey Huff’s expense.

Posey is hitting .353/.438./456 at Fresno right now. Twenty of his 24 hits are singles, however, and Schulman notes the Giants are concerned that he is “not driving the ball.” Of course, given that Bengie Molina is 3 for his last 28 with zero extra base hits, I imagine the Giants’ brass would consider someone who, while not driving the ball, can at least hit a little bit.

Whatever the case, the Giants need to operate on the extremely operative assumption that the NL West is winnable this year. Sure, some extra time in Fresno may teach Posey how to drive the ball a bit, but some extra time getting on base in San Francisco may be the difference between the Giants making the post season and sitting at home this year.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.