Buster Posey would politely answer the questions back in 2012 — including a series from a White House reporter, of all people — but he has never liked talking about moving to a different position.
Sometimes, however, you have no control over the conversation.
Wednesday’s game was a reminder that Posey, the Giants’ best hitter and a Hall-of-Fame catching talent, is at all times just a foul tip away from a serious scare. The Giants got one early in a 6-5 loss to the Miami Marlins when Posey took a screamer right off the center of his mask and had to take a walk to shake it off. He was removed three innings later but passed a concussion test.
“I just felt a little bit off,” Posey said. “It’s just being cautious and making the decision with (trainer Dave Groeschner) to be cautious and not get another foul tip the remainder of the game.”
Posey has managed to push those position-change questions to the side not by refusing to answer them, but by simply staying on the field. He caught 114 games in 2012, 121 in 2013 and 111 last year. In two of those seasons he was behind the plate for just about every pitch of a World Series run.
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In a twist, however, Posey had already been pushed off his position before the foul tip. Andrew Susac is the primary catcher right now because the Giants are short two outfielders and decided that the lineup was best off with Posey at first and Brandon Belt in left. That move will make any lingering issues for Posey easier to take over the coming days, as he likely wasn’t in for much squatting this weekend, anyway. Manager Bruce Bochy said Posey will be reevaluated in the morning.
“We’ll monitor Buster and see how he’s doing,” Bochy said. “We think he’s going to be fine, but we’ll check on him tomorrow, and if he needs a day or two then he’ll get it.”
If Posey is unavailable to put his gear on, the Giants will use Ehire Adrianza and Joaquin Arias as emergency catchers. Casey McGehee had been that guy and the Giants were actually pretty confident in his skills as the “emergency” guy, but McGehee was DFA’d on Monday.
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Posey looked fine after the game and didn’t sound like a guy who anticipates watching Arias or Adrianza slip on a catcher’s mask.
“I’ve had this before,” he said. “I’ve been lucky this year. I really haven’t had any that have zinged me. This was really the first one and it just caught me directly on the chin. It’s part of it and I think you just have to be as smart as possible about these types of things.”
The Giants — having dealt with Brandon Belt and Hector Sanchez last season — wisely got Posey out of the game. They dodged a bullet, but at some point the position-change questions will return. Mark this day down then not — fortunately — as a season-changing one for the Giants, but as a reminder that their best player may ultimately have to make a move he doesn't want to make.