Buster Posey Healing Nicely, Will Be Ready For 2012 Spring Training

Giants catcher Buster Posey is healing nicely from his season ending injury and should be ready to go for 2012 Spring Training. For more on the Giants, check out McCovey Chronicles.

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Buster Posey Injury: Joe Torre Does Not Expect Rule Change For Catchers

The injury Buster Posey sustained this past season with the San Francisco Giants was one of the more horrid injuries of recent years. As more and more catchers do their part to block the plate and in-turn stop a run from scoring, teams around the league are seeing their backstops get hurt more than they ever have.

Many fans around the game have suggested a rule change that would protect catchers from oncoming base runners. The hope would be to keep them on the field longer and off the disabled list, which is appealing for every club in the league. Despite the interest in an amendment to the rule book, Joe Torre, who oversees the umpires around the league, does not see it happening:

Torre heard out Giants manager Bruce Bochy in several phone calls last season but declined to recommend that the rules committee take up the matter.

"Well, listen, I knew it was more emotional than anything else," Torre said last week. "None of us like to see that. But I really haven't heard anything that would encourage me to change anything or recommend a change. Being a catcher for a lot of years, I knew what the consequences were."

While there may be no immediate resolution to change up the rules, Torre did mention he would keep an open mind on the situation:

"We'll continue to listen," Torre said. "I'll listen to anything that makes sense, and you know if it comes from people like them (Bochy and GM Brian Sabean), they always make a lot of sense. So I'll listen."

What do you think should happen? There is no denying that there is a legitimate concern with catchers getting injured in collisions, but a lot would have to happen in order for a rule change to be made. 

For more on the Giants, head on over to McCovey Chronicles.  


Buster Posey Running Corners, Will Be Ready For Spring Training

As San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey continues to improve on his road to recovery, he took another big step this week when he starting running not just straight lines, but corner routes as well, simulating the running of bases at the Giants' Arizona facilities. 

"I've been running straight, but this was the first time I tested it running corners, "I was out there turning a lot. I thought it went well. No problems."

Buster has been down in Arizona for almost two full months rehabilitating his surgically repaired lower leg, who has all but taken up the mantle as Giants starting catcher for the 2012 season. He's been catching bullpen sessions, doing strength and conditioning training, taking batting practice, and of course, the running tests to ensure he is healing properly. 

"I am anxious for that first Spring Training game, and the chance to test it out," Posey said. "All the simulated games aren't the same. You don't really know how it'll be when the adrenaline starts pumping, what kind of stress there will be on the joint. But I feel confident. I'm starting to feel pretty good, and we all have a lot to look forward to."

Buster will now head home to Georgia to have himself some kind of 'offseason' before pitchers and catchers report in early February to Scottsdale. 

For more on the Giants offseason, head over to McCovey Chronicles. 


Buster Posey Showing Progress In Recovery, Catching Live Bullpen Sessions Now

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey suffered a brutal, season-ending injury to his left leg during a game against the Florida Marlins way back on May 25th. The incident occurred when Marlins outfielder Scott Collins came in to score the game-winning run in a 7-6 game and collided with Posey.

Four-and-a-half months later, Posey is getting back into playing shape. According to a report by SFGate, Posey has started participating in live bullpen sessions with instructional league pitchers in Scottsdale, Arizona. Just this morning, Posey caught balls for the duration of an eight-minute session.

Posey was targeting a Nov. 1st return to live bullpen catching sessions but has managed to beat that mark by three weeks. He has also been taking batting practice of late and is scheduled to start participating in live batting practice sessions soon.

The injury update comes as good news for the Giants and the upcoming season. Both the Giants and Posey himself want to see Posey back in good shape at spring training in early 2012, and getting a three-week head start on catching (with live batting practice on the way) works favorably toward that goal.


Buster Posey Undergoes Ankle Surgery, Prepares For Rehab

Buster Posey underwent a 90-minute surgical procedure on Sunday and has been basically ruled out for the season. Giants trainer Dave Groeschner didn’t get specific about the date, but seemed to agree with that prognosis:

“I would think so,” Groeschner said when asked if Posey will be ready for the 2012 opener. “I think it’s a good prognosis. It’s a long road from here. I mean, he just had a very devastating injury that required surgery. He still has a long rehab process to go. We’re optimistic.”

Posey’s surgery focused on the torn ligaments in his left ankle. His broken left fibula is a fairly basic injury that should heal on its own. He had two screws inserted into his left leg to reposition and repair the ankle ligaments and also had his ankle joint smoothed.

Posey will be on crutches for two months after which the screws will be removed. He will then remain on crutches for another month after that, which would take him potentially into late August or early September before he’s even off crutches. If that’s the case, it’d be shocking to see him rehabilitated and playing by even the playoffs.

Posey could reportedly have additional arthroscopic surgery in the offseason to deal with any scar tissue build-up in the area. Beyond that, the doctors think he will be ready in time for the start of spring training.


Buster Posey Injury: The Medical Facts And Opinions Of His Broken Leg And Ankle Injury

SB Nation recently added a new writer to the fold in the form of Dr. Ali Mohamadi. Dr. Mohamadi runs a private practice in Washington, DC and will be providing medical analysis for SB Nation on a variety of subjects. In a good bit of timing, his first post in this new role was an analysis of Buster Posey’s injury this week.

There has been some conflicting information as to the severity of the ankle injury. This is important information because the ankle injury, as opposed to the broken leg, could be what dictates Posey’s return. The broken fibula would have him out either way, but a fibula generally heals a little bit easier than torn ligaments. The San Francisco Chronicle described the ligaments as severely strained, while Giants.com described the ligaments as torn.

Dr. Mohamadi took Giants trainer Dave Groeschner’s description to mean they’re likely torn. He provided the following surgery and rehabilitation description for the injury:

If indeed Posey requires surgical repair of the affected ligaments, typically the procedure would be followed by cast immobilization for 6-8 weeks and then partial weight bearing for an additional 3-4 weeks. After immobilization, traditional therapy can be started focusing initially on improving the range of motion of the ankle followed by strengthening exercises, and balance training. Screws are often removed at 3 months following surgery, with recovery taking between 4-6 months, total.

If Posey was on the early end of that 4-6 month timeline he could potentially be available in October if the Giants made the playoffs. It does not appear surgery has taken place yet. Posey indicated he would no more after surgery but that it was highly likely that he would not be back this season.


Buster Posey Injury: The End Of His Time As Catcher?

After Scott Cousins collided with Buster Posey Wednesday night, most fans feared the absolute worst, whether it be blown out knee, thrashed ankle ligaments, or just about any other worst case scenario. After x-rays and an MRI, Posey will miss an extended period of time with a broken leg and torn ligaments in his left ankle. The Giants have not declared him finished for the season but they acknowledged that the torn ankle ligaments represent a severe injury.

Whether Posey comes back in September or in 2012, one question that has to be raised is whether the Giants want to keep him at catcher. While they shouldn’t overreact to what was a bit of a freak injury, it’s a question they would have likely faced down the line even without the injury. The catcher position is rough on players and when you’ve got a strong offensive performer back there, it can get harder to justify what the daily wear and tear does to his offensive statistics.

I saw a couple posts on Facebook and Twitter that just assumed this would be the end of his catching days. I’m not sure I necessarily by into that at this point, but would it really be surprising if the Giants decided to move Posey over to first base? If the Giants did move Posey to first they’d need to consider their catching options long term. At AAA-Fresno and AA-Richmond they don’t have much. At San Jose, 21-year old Hector Sanchez is hitting the ball fairly well with a line .296/.314/.533. I don’t know enough about his defense at this point to make a definitive statement, but he’s off to a solid start.

If you’re the Giants, what do you do?


Buster Posey Injury Update: Giants Place Posey On DL With Broken Bone In Left Leg

The San Francisco Giants have made it official as they placed catcher Buster Posey on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in his left leg. The move had been previously tweeted by CSN Bay Area’s Amy Gutierrez. The Giants did not make any reference to potential ligament damage in his knee or ankle, so the full extent of the injury is not quite known yet. Posey would likely be done for the season with this injury, but ligament damage could potentially leave him with a longer rehab schedule.

Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins has expressed significant regret for the hit and is feeling guilty about the significant injury he caused. He has apparently left Posey two messages and could not sleep Wednesday night after the game. Giants fans might take little consolation from Cousins comments, but it certainly can’t be easy for him to live with this right now. The replays are airing everywhere and he said himself that he has to turn away when it is shown.


Buster Posey Injury: Should MLB Change Ruling On Plays at the Plate?

With the San Francisco Giants star catcher Buster Posey likely on the sideline for a while with his injury, many folks in and around MLB have begun to look at a possible rule change when it comes to plays at the plate. But in such a traditional game, should a tradition like barreling through a unsuspecting catcher be really be removed from the sport? In a word, absolutely.

Posey’s manager Jeff Berry has already reached out to Joe Torre, MLB’s leader of on-field operations, asking for him to look at possible adjustments to the rule. He also spoke to the players union about this issue as well; here’s a bit of what Berry had to say about it:

“You leave players way too vulnerable, I can tell you Major League Baseball is less than it was before [Posey’s injury]. It’s stupid.”If you go helmet to helmet in the NFL, it’s a $100,000 fine, but in baseball, you have a situation in which runners are [slamming into] fielders. It’s brutal. It’s borderline shocking."

Very good points.

Over at McCovey Chronicles Grant Bisbee makes some good points of his own, like the fact that plays like this are banned in college and enforced, the violence brings nothing to the game, and that many rule changes have gone through after they’ve hurt the Giants:

When the Giants won 103 games, they missed the playoffs. The next year baseball said, oh!, wild card! When the Giants had home-field advantage in the 1997 playoffs, that meant opening with two games on the road. That sucked. The next year, baseball shifted to the 2-2-1 format. Maybe another rule change will come a little too late for the Giants.

If you ask me this rule change is long overdue. Baseball is a tough game, but it’s also a gentlemen’s sport, and there is enough risk of injury as is. They’ve changed the rules for concussions, initiated the use of instant replay, so why not ban the catcher takeout? This to me is the equivalent of blind siding a quarterback after the pass is made or slide tackling a soccer player from behind, it just isn’t necessary.

Too bad we can’t flip on the Flux Capacitor and go back to last night and undo that terrible play at the plate. The best we can do now is make sure it never happens to anyone else again.


Buster Posey Injury: Should Bengie Molina Report To The White Courtesy Phone?

The San Francisco Giants have not yet released official news on the extent of Buster Posey’s lower leg injury, but unofficial reports indicate Posey has suffered a broken leg and some form of ligament damage. Assuming this is true, Posey would apparently be headed for the 15-day disabled list, and possibly the 60-day disabled list. Either way he is out for an extended period of time still to be determined.

For now Eli Whiteside will handle the catching duties, while newly recalled Chris Stewart will be his backup. The question is whether the Giants are comfortable with Whiteside handling their dominant pitching staff. He has struggled on offense and remains likely suited for a backup role.

One name that has already popped up for fans is former Giants catcher Bengie Molina. The Giants dealt him away last year when they decided Posey was set to be the number one catcher. Posey’s emergence made the decision easy and so Molina was sent to Texas. It was quite the coincidence as the Rangers and Giants ended up squaring off in the World Series.

Molina has been mulling retirement since the end of last season. Should the Giants consider bringing him back? While he was no Buster Posey last year, Molina’s numbers were better than Whiteside and he brings some semblance of leadership and a familiarity with the young Giants pitchers.


Buster Posey Injury: CSN Bay Area Reporting Broken Leg And Ligament Damage; Brandon Belt Recalled

The Giants have yet to make it official, but CSN Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez just tweeted an unofficial update about Buster Posey's injury during Wednesday night's Giants-Marlins game. According to Gutierrez, the x-ray and MRI are indicating Posey has a broken leg and ligament damage. If that's the case, it would seem that his 2011 season is finished and the extent of the ligament damage could mean a longer absence. To reiterate, this is an unofficial update as the Giants have not officially released the results of the MRI.

According to Gutierrez, the Giants are placing Posey on the disabled list and recalling Chris Stewart from AAA Fresno. Stewart will likely be the backup catcher to Eli Whiteside for now. The Giants will likely consider additional moves to bring in a catcher from outside, but it would seem like Whiteside will get the first crack at the job.

In an additional roster move, Darren Ford has also been placed on the DL and the Giants recalled their top prospect Brandon Belt from AAA.

Join in the commiseration with Giants fans at McCovey Chronicles.


Buster Posey Injury: Thursday MRI Set To Determine Extent Of Ankle Injury

During Wednesday's 7-6 loss to the Florida Marlins, outfielder Scott Cousins barreled into San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey to score the eventual winning run. However, the real significance of the collision was that it sent Posey's ankle in a direction ankles were not meant to go (WARNING: this gif is pretty brutal). The team took x-rays of Posey's ankle following the game and are sending him to get an MRI Thursday morning. The x-ray would likely determine any sort of break, while the MRI would be a better way to determine if there was any additional ligament damage. Although a broken ankle is a long recovery, ligament damage that goes beyond the broken bone could create an even longer recovery time.

Whatever the results of the MRI, it would seem like the absolute best case scenario for Posey is a high ankle sprain, and even that is incredibly unlikely based on the footage of the injury. Posey will likely miss an extended amount of time, with the x-ray and MRI giving the team a specific idea of the rehab period. When/if Posey ends up on the disabled list, Eli Whiteside will take over as starting catcher for at least the short term.

While Posey hasn't been hitting the lights out, he's still a significant team leader. It's a tough blow so the coming hours and days will be important for the Giants 2011 future, and possible beyond. We'll be back with plenty of updates on this huge story. If you want to commiserate with fellow Giants fans, head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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