The Giants have held Buster Posey out of the lineup for the early part of the Cactus League schedule, but he’s slowly ramping up baseball activities in preparation for his first game action since his horrific injury last May 25.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com today that Posey could make his spring debut “possibly by the end of the week.” It’s likely he’ll be eased back into action as a designated hitter before playing the field.
While Posey said today that his surgically-repaired ankle is feeling the best it has all spring, the exact date of his debut depends on how much progress he makes with sliding and running curves over the next few days.
Posey was able to slide today for the first time since the injury, but Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News notes that he “didn’t do many” and “it wasn’t anywhere close to full speed.” He also did the slides on grass with the help of a pad. Posey was also scheduled to run curves today, but he’s not yet doing hard cuts around the bases. Baggarly writes that the Giants “remain very concerned” about what will happen when he takes his first “jarring” step on a base.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.