Posey After Scare in Giants Home Opener: ‘I Feel Good'

SAN FRANCISCO - Buster Posey walked out of AT&T Park an hour after the final pitch Monday, looking as he always does.

"I feel good," he told NBC Sports Bay Area. "See you tomorrow."

The Giants have learned in recent years that the initial reaction to a blow to the head is sometimes deceiving, but the first read on Posey was that he will be fine. The catcher took a 94 mph Taijuan Walker fastball to the helmet in the first inning Monday and was immediately removed, but he passed a concussion test. 

"He's doing good. He's doing fine," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We'll keep an eye on him. He had no complaints or anything. Right now, he's doing well. Our doctors were here and they checked him out pretty good."

The Giants took no chances when Posey went down. He sat back, waiting for trainer Dave Groeschner and Bochy, as teammates and fans cringed at the thud they had heard. Groeschner pulled Posey and took him right to the clubhouse. Bochy said that the situation might have been different if Posey played a different position.

"He was hit in the head and he's a catcher, so now he's even more at risk," Bochy said. "If he's catching and he takes a foul tip, he's even more at risk. We didn't want to risk that."

Nick Hundley replaced Posey behind the plate. Teammates who went back to check on Posey said he looked and acted fine, and Posey noted that he was expecting symptoms that never came. 

The Giants might know better than any other MLB team that the days after a hit to the head are more instructive. Brandon Belt, Hector Sanchez and Joe Panik are among the Giants who have been concussed in recent years. Panik got hit by a Matt Moore pitch last June 18 and played for over a week. When he realized he wasn't right, he ultimately missed 23 games with a concussion.

"He seems fine, and he said he felt fine, which is good," said Brandon Crawford, one of Posey's closest friends. "But Joe thought he felt good last year, also. You hope he feels fine tomorrow when he comes in. He'll probably get his heart rate going and see how he feels and you go from there."

Giants doctors will continue to check with Posey overnight, and he isn't expected to play Tuesday. Hundley has a good rapport with the staff and he helped guide Moore through eight sharp innings in a 4-1 win. Late in the game, Moore hit David Peralta on the arm. Players and coaches quietly grumbled after the game that Walker, who has command issues, should not have been trying to go inside so often. He almost hit Jarrett Parker high, too, but Moore said there was no retaliation. 

"In a three-run game in the eighth?" he said. "I don't think so."

The Giants did not plan to immediately make a roster move. Trevor Brown is the third catcher on the 40-man roster but he's sidelined by an illness after starting the season on the DL with an ankle injury. Tim Federowicz is the catcher at Triple-A but he's not on the 40-man roster, so a player would need to be removed to clear a spot.

Aaron Hill, an infielder/left fielder, is the emergency catcher.

"He just found out today that he's our third catcher," Bochy said, smiling. "He found out late in the game."

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