SCOTTSDALE -- The Giants have spent six weeks slow-playing veteran hitters, so you figured they wouldn't make it out of Arizona without one more minor ailment popping up.
Catcher Buster Posey was a late scratch from Sunday's lineup because of right hip tightness, but the Giants expect him in the lineup Monday night. Posey (who turned 29 on Sunday) has just 31 at-bats this spring, placing him 17th on the team, but manager Bruce Bochy said earlier in the week that he's not concerned and Posey's timing at the plate is fine.
With the starter pulled, Trevor Brown was inserted to catch Jake Peavy. Fellow backup Andrew Susac is still rehabbing a wrist injury, so Brown all of a sudden finds himself in position to make his first Opening Day roster. On Sunday morning, he was named the winner of the Barney Nugent Award, given to the player in his first big league camp "whose performance and dedication in Spring Training best exemplifies the San Francisco Giants spirit." The award is voted on by players, and Brown was a near-unanimous choice.
"That's really cool," Brown said. "I didn't even know it was going on. It's really cool that the guys were impressed. My goal coming in was to try and make a bit of a statement and play hard and as well as I can."
The 24-year-old, who got a cameo last September, has hit .324 this spring with nine RBI in 17 games. He leads the Giants with 66 innings caught and has received positive reviews from veteran starters. Brown's goal coming into camp was to become comfortable with the whole staff, and he said he has started with every member of the rotation at least two or three times across Cactus League and camp games.
"The best thing I got here was more time with guys, getting to know them and developing that chemistry," Brown said. "That was the biggest challenge last year was going into games that count having not caught these guys. I feel comfortable with them. Hopefully they're comfortable with me out there."
If Brown makes the roster, it seems likely that Bochy will pair him with one starter as he has done in the past with Hector Sanchez. Brown would seem a good bet to catch Peavy. The two first worked together when Peavy went to Sacramento last summer on a rehab assignment.