Buster Posey, the San Francisco Giants' star catcher and last year's NL Rookie of the Year, sustained a serious injury last night in the Giants' loss to the Florida Marlins last night, 7-6 in twelve innings.
In the top of the twelfth, Scott Cousins tagged from third on a short fly ball hit to Nate Shierholtz in right center field. Shierholtz strong arm fired the ball towards Posey, who in a rush to tag out the speedy Cousins, missed the ball and got slammed by Cousins.
Posey immediately hit the ground in frustration and was helped off the field. This morning, CSN Bay Area is unofficially reporting that Posey has a broken leg and torn ligaments.
It's the toughest play in baseball. You hate to see it, Bruce Bochy, Giants' manager and former catcher said after the game. As a catcher you know what it's like, and you don't like it. Believe me. When I see him laying there, it's certainly not a good feeling.
Although the extent of Psoey's injury is not yet known, a broken bone and torn ligaments could mean several months without their catcher.
It's not good, I know that. It's a matter of how severe. But you can tell, it's not good, Bochy told KNBR this morning.
Bochy also said that the Giants have called up catcher Chris Stewart and outfielder/first baseman Brandon Belt from the minor leagues
Stewart will likely be the backup to Eli Whiteside, who will fill in for Posey. Belt will replace outfielder Darren Ford who will go on the DL nursing a sprained ankle.
Belt may be able to provide the spark the Giants sorely need now that Posey is unavailable. Posey extended his hitting streak to 13 games last night and was hitting 0.284. Belt was hitting 0.337 with 4 homeruns in 31 games in Triple A Fresno.
Perhaps the primary reason for Belt's being rushed back Giants is likely due to needing another strong hitter in the lineup without Posey. Posey's injury opens up the opportunity for Belt to provide the same energy and spark that Posey himself gave the Giants last year, when he was called up at approximately the same time.
Belt, the Giants' opening day first baseman, struggled during his short stint with the giants hitting 0.192 in 17 games. However, Belt showed a remarkable amount of plate discipline, drawing 8 walks, and forcing numerous opposing pitchers to go deep into counts.
Giants are hopeful that Belt's time in Fresno would have allowed him to work on getting solid contact with the ball, to take advantage of his superb plate discipline. If Belt can put everything together, he could be a star in the major leagues.
Another factor for Giants' fans to look forward to is the return of Pablo Sandoval from his hamate bone injury. On Sunday, Bochy said that Sandoval could return in two weeks, which would be June 5.
He's on a fast pace now. Every day it's just better and better. He says it's a little sore, but he can feel the strength coming back every day, and that increases the things he can do on the baseball field. He could be playing for us in two weeks. It's just hard to say right now.
Although Posey's injury is a great loss to the Giants, the time off on the disabled list may be needed by the catcher. Posey played every inning of the post season last year and had played in 45 of the 48 games this year. In addition, Posey had taken numerous foul balls off the mask, which many feared may lead to concussion issues.
With some time off to heal the injury, Posey may be able to come back and once again give the Giants the spark that he did last year.