Saturday, May 29, 2010

Buster Posey Up From Fresno! At-Bat Analysis Later Tonight

Being a fan who has resided in two different areas out of the Giants area for the past five years (four years in Spokane and one year so far in Los Angeles), I don't get to go to many games at AT&T Park. I long for the day when I finally am able to reside in the Bay Area and get season tickets or get enough money to purchase MLB.TV or MLB Extra Innings annually. For the time being though, I have to deal with this reality of following the team from afar.

Well, in my first game of the 2010 season at AT&T Park, I will be able to see the player I have pined for all season: Buster Posey.

According to Andrew Baggarly's blog Extra Baggs, Posey is slated to start at first base tonight with Aubrey Huff moving to left. Now, I'm not so keen about this move on paper. First off, Bengie Molina is not a serviceable Major League catcher anymore (as I have noted in a post yesterday), so I don't know why the Giants cut ties with him or somehow work out a trade. I mean, Molina is poor defensively, has no power and kills the team with his lack of speed. Sure, Timmy is comfortable with him, but you know what? You're going to have to get used to Posey at some point. Why not start sooner than later?

Furthermore, I'm not sure about Huff in left. Huff has only played nine total games in his career in left field, so I wonder if he's going to be able to make the adjustment to the outfield after getting comfortable at first base this season (Huff's 0.5 UZR/150 has been a surprise, especially considering his career UZR at first base is minus-11.8). What makes the situation worse is the fact that Nate Schierholtz and John Bowker are going to be the odd men out. Because of Bruce Bochy's love for Aaron Rowand (and his .286 wOBA), Schierholtz is going to lose playing time because the Giants can't afford to bench Andres Torres, who has become the Giants' leadoff hitter. It's tough to stomach because Schierholtz has been so good defensively in his career and offensively he has stepped up nicely this year (his .340 wOBA and 0.77 BB/K ratio show that).

As for Bowker, he has struggled this year, no doubt (.276 wOBA). However, Bowker needs more playing time and has shown at time that he is on the cusp of turning it around should he be given more at-bats. With Posey up and Pat Burrell apparently on the move to the Bay Area, it almost seems like a given that Bowker is destined for Fresno real soon.

Overall, I'm happy Brian Sabean decided to suck it up and call up Posey. I hope soon enough the Giants management will come to their senses and either bench or designate Molina for assignment and put Posey behind the plate, which will keep Torres and Schierholtz in the outfield, and give the Giants their best lineup overall (both offensively and defensively).

It will definitely be interesting in the long-run. For the short term now, I'm just excited to see Posey play in person for the first time. Expect an at-bat analysis for Posey later tonight or early tomorrow after I come back home from AT&T Park.

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