The Buster Posey era begins Thursday, as the Giants have called their star catching prospect up from the minor leagues.
The San Francisco Giants' minor league catcher Buster Posey has been busting the hits and runs all season long in San Jose and Connecticut, but general manager Brian Sabean has avoided calling Posey up to the big leagues. "He just got out of college last year. There's no rush," Sabean told the Chronicle just 15 days ago.
Fifteen days later, there's a rush. Andrew Baggarly reports on his Mercury News blog that the Giants have called Posey up to the majors. Buster Posey is likely to make his big league debut Thursday against the Phillies, catching Tim Lincecum.
Posey was the fifth overall pick of the 2008 MLB Draft, and he's exceeded even the Giants' high expectations for him in the minors. He's got an un-Giant-like .325 batting average with 18 homers and 80 RBI this season in San Jose and Connecticut, and USA Today declares that "Posey could be among the NL's top five (catchers) as early as next season."
Posey and minor league pitcher Madison Bumgarner are cult heroes among Giants fans, who are not careful what they wish for and surely thrilled that Posey's got a chance to show the major leagues what he's got.
"Buster is the best catcher in our system and we needed some help," manager Bruce Bochy told the Merc. It’ll give us a little more coverage, which was a need there given Bengie's situation."
Oh yeah, "Bengie's situation." That's catcher Bengie Molina, who's been hitting a very Giant-like .261 with only 16 home runs and has been out with a strained right quadriceps muscle for the last eight games. Seeing his replacement called up, now Molina feels he's got insult added to his injury.
"You know what,” Molina told the Mercury News, “This might mean I’m not coming back next year. Who knows? I’m ready for anything. I know how baseball goes. Whatever they want to do."
What they want to do is have a catcher who can hit. That might be the kid who just got out of college last year.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who's talking the same silly pennant smack today as he was on the days that they traded for Freddy Sanchez and Ryan Garko.