PHOENIX - Nobody on the field felt comfortable Friday night. It was over 100 degrees outside at first pitch, and even though the roof was closed at Chase Field, it still is sweltering on the grass and in the dugouts. But trainer Dave Groeschner knew there was something more serious going on when Jose Algacuil motioned him over to first base in the third inning.
Buster Posey had singled for the second time, and as he stood on the bag he turned and told his first base coach that he felt light-headed. Posey took a foul tip off the mask in the first inning, and the Giants did not waste any time getting him out of the game once symptoms popped up. Groeschner rushed onto the field and took Posey back to the clubhouse, where he was put into the concussion protocol.
The Giants do not necessarily have to make a move, manager Bruce Bochy said later. But it seems likely that they will. They know better than just about any organization that these things linger, and it seems irresponsible to assume Posey can play again this weekend, or that the team can get through a couple of games without a backup. Bochy said the staff will check on Posey in the morning and then make a decision. At the very least, Nick Hundley is starting Saturday.
"Trust me, we're going to err on the side of caution here with him because he's been through it," Bochy said of Posey. "What's important is his health, of course, and the long term. We're not going to take any risks."
Posey was put on the concussion disabled list last season after getting hit in the head by a fastball in the home opener. He was reinstated eight days later, and didn't show any concerning signs the rest of the season. Posey has mostly avoided foul-tip issues as a professional, but the Giants did admit last year that there was a time earlier in Posey's career that he was watched closely after a series of foul tips. In recent years, the concussion protocol has become much more stringent.
Bochy said Hundley will start Saturday and he has not ruled Posey out to start somewhere on Sunday if he feels fine over the next day. If the Giants do have to make a move, it will be somewhat complicated. The only other catcher on the 40-man roster is Aramis Garcia, who has been in camp for a couple of years but is still just in Double-A. The Giants have two 40-man roster spots to play with because of the Johnny Cueto and Pablo Sandoval injuries, and they could add someone like Trevor Brown. Any addition will get them closer to the tax line, though.
On Friday night, team officials indicated that would not be a concern. But they're hoping it doesn't get there regardless. The hope is that Posey is fine. In the meantime, Bochy said he would need a new emergency backup with Sandoval on the DL. The frontrunner is Chase d'Arnaud. His brother, Travis, has been a big league catcher.
"I'm sure he's probably caught somewhere along the line," Bochy said.