CHICAGO -- The first wave of September call-ups almost always includes a third catcher, but the Giants thought they could get by until the end of the minor league season, and perhaps longer.
"We looked at a third catcher. We looked," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We do have one of our minor league guys ready to go and we're keeping him sharp in case of an emergency. We've got a backup plan. We feel that if we need to go ahead any day and get him up here, we can do it."
The problem: Today seems to be the day when the emergency has hit, and there's no third catcher here. With Brandon Belt slumping, Jon Lester on the mound, and a day game after a night game, Buster Posey is playing first base. Trevor Brown, who has been sick for several days, gets the start.
Brown tried to flash a smile when asked about his health and he said he'll make it through the day, but he looked very much like a player who should have spent this day indoors. Bochy admitted Brown is "touch and go" and the staff will keep a close eye on him.
Brown was tested for mono, but it came back negative. Still, in a cramped clubhouse, some quietly wondered why the rookie is being sent out there when rosters have expanded. With Matt Cain's activation, the Giants are carrying 12 relievers. They did not want to lose inventory by DFA'ing a player, but it seems likely that they'll be forced into adding a third catcher at some point anyway.
--- Bochy said he would like to give Hunter Strickland a breather, so if he needs an extra right-handed arm today, Cain could be that guy. The manager would prefer to hold off though, allowing Cain to ease into the bullpen. From yesterday, here's Bochy on why Albert Suarez gets the start. Cain was officially brought off the DL on Friday morning.
--- Josh Osich looked sharp last night, but Bochy said he'd prefer to keep him in that early relief role for now. Osich flashed a good changeup, a pitch he worked on a ton during his extended rehab assignment.
--- In case you missed it, here's my podcast with Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles. You can stream it here.