Giants' Posey likely ticketed for Triple-A

Well, it's nice to have that cleared up. Andrew Baggarly:

    As for the Giants’ other prospect, Buster Posey, [Bruce] Bochy said he wanted to clarify comments he made earlier this month at FanFest in which he said the former Golden Spikes-winning catcher would get some work at other infield positions this spring.

    Bochy said Wednesday that he only wants Posey to take some grounders at first base. That way, Posey can provide the organization the option to give him occasional rests from catching to stay fresh while still allowing his potentially impactful bat to stay in the lineup every day.

    “He’s a catcher,” Bochy said. “We’re not trying to convert him.”

    Bochy reiterated that it’s possible Posey could open as the backup to Bengie Molina and catch two times a week. It’s still far more likely, though, that Posey will begin the season at Triple-A Fresno.

This is the point at which I'm supposed to snort in disgust at the Giants' inability to recognize Buster Posey's imminent greatness.

But I've done that before. Today let's try something different.

First, let me ask you a question: What sort of chances do you give the Giants of winning 85-90 games this season?

Yeah, same here: slim and none.

Here's another question: Would Buster Posey playing (say) 120 games change that?

Right: quite probably not.

Posey turns 23 next month. He's got 168 plate appearances above Double-A. I'm reminded of a certain young Oriole catcher who was absolutely going to be the new Johnny Bench, right out of the chute.

Except he wasn't.

Buster Posey probably won't be Johnny Bench, either. Not in 2010 (and probably not ever, but that's irrelevant at the moment).

He's probably better than Bengie Molina. One or maybe two wins better. But those one or two wins are highly unlikely to make a difference to the Giants in 2010, and might be balanced against 1) the chance that a quick promotion might hurt Posey's development, and 2) the benefit of perhaps delaying Posey's arbitration eligibility for a year.

Is that what the Giants have in mind? Probably not, else they wouldn't have invested $4.5 million in Molina. If they were just interested in a place-holder for Posey, they could have spent half as much on someone else. No, the brain trust really does believe this team is good enough to contend, and is better off with Molina in the lineup than Posey.

Which doesn't speak particularly well for the brain trust. But looked at in isolation, the club's handling of Posey to this point does not seem to me particularly damaging to either the player or the franchise.