Universally, it seems that Buster Posey is seen as the saviour of the Giants anemic offense. The Giants finished 29th in baseball in runs scored in 2011, a whopping 161 runs behind the Diamondbacks. The Giants had exactly one player with more than 350 at-bats hit over .247–Pablo Sandoval.
A pitching staff that includes Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner will often allow them to forget about their lackof offense, but the Giants inability to score will always catch up with them in the end–exactly as it did in 2012. Their aces need some support from the offense if the Giants have any shot at reclaiming the NL West. The team added the underrated Melky Cabrera in the outfield–while losing the overrated Carlos Beltran–and should get steady contributions from Pablo Sandoval and Aubrey Huff. They’re also expecting big things from young Brandon Belt, who tore up the minors but failed to show much in an abbreviated 2011 appearance. However, the Giants have no player more critical to their 2011 success than their catcher/first baseman Buster Posey.
Posey has been bested by Bryce Harper as the most hyped prospect in the history of baseball the past couple years, but unlike Harper he’s shown ability at the major league level–being a key cog in the Giants machine that won the 2010 World Series. Posey’s 2011 was anything but fantastic, however. On May 25th, a devastating collision with the Marlins’ Scott Cousins left Posey with a broken fibula and torn ankle ligaments. While all indications are that Posey’s recovery is on track, he has been held out of spring games thus far and the Giants are being pretty quite about the status–just saying he’s “not quite there“.
Everything being said about Posey, seems to echo the Stephen Drew situation with D-Backs. While Drew was expected to be back in time for the season, it’s starting to become apparent that he might not be ready for quite awhile. While Posey has had longer to heal than Drew, it still has to be a little nerve-wracking to Giants fans that he hasn’t found his way back on the field–and if he does soon, it remains to be seen how he’ll hold up. One thing is for certain, that an extended absence from Posey would be devastating to an offense looking to find some life.
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