SAN FRANCISCO -- Trevor Brown has had a meteoric rise from little-known prospect to trusted backup catcher, and manager Bruce Bochy plans on taking advantage of it. Brown, not Buster Posey, was in the starting lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the Padres. Bochy said he wants to give Posey two full days to rest (the Giants are off Thursday), but something else is at play here.
"This is the plan all year, probably, to give Buster a few more breaks than in the past," Bochy said. "Because of Brownie's play, it's easier to do this."
Posey has started 16 of 23 games behind the plate, missing a couple days with a sore foot. Bochy said Posey's foot is fine and the hip that occasionally tightens up isn't an issue. He added, "we're going to try to keep it that way and this is part of it."
"When you push him a little bit you're asking for trouble," Bochy said. "Brownie is doing a good job and I'd like to keep him sharp as much as I can."
Brown is hitting .250 this season with three homers, and all the starters are comfortable throwing to him. That hasn't always been the case with Bochy's backup catchers -- Hector Sanchez was particularly raw defensively -- but he doesn't have any issues with putting Brown with his big guns. On Wednesday Brown is catching Jeff Samardzija, as he did at Coors Field earlier this month.
"They worked well together," Bochy said.
--- Bochy, a day later: "Last night was just a beautiful game." Here's my story on Johnny Cueto's big night. Bochy seconded Posey's assessment that Cueto is extremely talented at reading hitters, and he added that Cueto "works all four quadrants (of the strike zone) as well as any pitcher I've seen." Bochy also credited Cueto with pacing himself.
"You watch him and he's not full bore the whole game," Bochy said. "He stays within himself."
There's one other thing the Giants are learning about their new co-ace. Cueto takes hitting seriously, and Bochy said that after an at-bat in Los Angeles, Cueto went down to the video room to look at what he had done wrong.
"He might be the only pitcher I've seen during the game who goes to look at video of his hitting," Bochy said. "I've never seen that. He's into it."
Bochy said video coordinator Yo Miyamoto told him that Cueto is the only one who comes down to study his hitting during games. Pitchers are usually too locked-in in the dugout, but Cueto has an easy way about him.
--- On my Facebook page there's a video of Denard Span giving strength coach Carl Kochan a hard time yesterday. Kochan said his phone blew up last night, and he came in today and Span's quotes were plastered on the video boards all over the clubhouse.
"They were beautiful," Bochy said. "We loved it. It was perfect."
Carl loved it, too, but it sounds like some revenge might be on the way ...