The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Buster to 1st, Pablo Might Catch in 2012

According to Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy at MLB's Winter Meetings in Dallas, there could be some interesting lineup configurations for the Giants in 2012.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Buster Posey might be getting more time at first base when Pablo Sandoval is behind the dish. Wait, what?

    Even if the Giants are done signing offensive players -- and judging by rumors that seems unlikely -- the batting lineup could look completely different in different parts of 2012.

    That's because, according to Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy in Dallas at MLB's Winter Meetings, we could see plenty of Buster Posey at first base ... and some Pablo Sandoval behind the plate.

    No, really.

    "On the days Buster needs a day off period and wouldn't be a first baseman or catcher, Pablo could catch [Barry] Zito starts to get more offense in the lineup and he's open to that," Sabean said, per Jaymee Sire of Comcast Bay Area. "Now whether that happens I don't know but it's been discussed."

    Sandoval behind the plate sounds terrifyingly awesome, and though Sabean can say it might not happen, there is absolutely going to be a time when Posey's playing first base, Bochy said.

    "We’d like to get him out there as much as we can without wearing him down," Bochy said per Sire. "And if putting him at first base a few games allows us to play him more, then this is why we’re deciding to give him more playing time at first base."

    As a result, Aubrey Huff will have to play left field and Brandon Belt being a guy the Giants can "mix and match."

    In other words, things are still a little messy, and Belt and Huff will need to adapt to change much better than they did last year.

    But the really important thing here is that Posey's not going to catch 150 games, or whatever the full equivalent of Posey catching an "entire season on regular rest" would be.

    Posey was tremendously effective in 108 games in his rookie year and struggled to start last season; if the Giants can keep him rested by making he sure he doesn't have to play behind the plate every night, it's all but certain he'll be more effective.

    And healthy, of course. If the only cost of that is watching Panda catch, well, so be it.