SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Buster Posey logged so many hours in the trainers’ room last spring, he could have met residency requirements
A year later, he barely needs to ice his rebuilt left ankle. And Giants manager Bruce Bochy can scarcely believe it.
“I’m amazed where he’s at with the injury – it’s like it never happened,” Bochy said. “He never mentions it, never complains about it. That’s modern medicine at its finest.”
It starts with head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner, with nods to Giants orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki and 49ers team orthopedist Dr. Michael Dillingham. They’re the ones who performed both surgeries on Posey in 2011, first to reattach three ankle ligaments and then another to remove the screws.
Posey couldn’t walk for the better part of four months, and when he reported to spring training a year ago, his every movement made Bochy squirm. Posey wouldn’t even catch bullpens on consecutive days out of an abundance of caution.
It wasn’t even a question this time. Posey has caught five bullpen sessions in the first two days of camp.
“It’s not even an issue, not even discussed,” Bochy said. “He doesn’t want to talk about it because it’s a non-issue now.”
Posey did say he still feels a bit of stiffness when he gets out of bed, but it loosens up quickly. He barely has to touch an icepack or sit on training tables with a digital clock clipped to his shirt while he waits for treatments to finish.
But it’s not like Posey will catch both ends of a day-night split-squad this spring.
“I’m not so naïve to expect I won’t feel it anymore,” he said. “But right now, I feel great.”
Posey hit .336 last season and became the first catcher in 70 years to win an NL batting title, but he still sees room for improvement. In what areas, exactly?
“I think I’ll keep that to myself,” he said, smiling.
He’s still eight World Series rings short of matching Yogi Berra, and said he cherished the time he spent with the Yankees legend while visiting his museum over the winter. If you know Posey, it’s not a surprise to hear him say his favorite part of the museum was reading all of Yogi’s old love letters to his wife.
“He has great penmanship, by the way,” Posey said.