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Posey expects to be ready for Opening Day

Catcher recovering from August right hip surgery
MLB.com @mi_guardado

SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey plans to be on the field when Giants pitchers and catchers begin their first workout at Scottsdale Stadium on Wednesday, and if his rehab from right hip surgery continues to go well, he expects the same for Opening Day.

"I feel really, really well," Posey said Friday. "I feel like I've been able to notice when I'm lifting this offseason things are working correctly and more efficiently. I'm able to hit, throw, run. Everything is feeling good. Having said that, it's still not the same as getting on the field for live BP or the games in Spring Training. And obviously the season is a completely different animal, but I'm optimistic that it'll be fun."

SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey plans to be on the field when Giants pitchers and catchers begin their first workout at Scottsdale Stadium on Wednesday, and if his rehab from right hip surgery continues to go well, he expects the same for Opening Day.

"I feel really, really well," Posey said Friday. "I feel like I've been able to notice when I'm lifting this offseason things are working correctly and more efficiently. I'm able to hit, throw, run. Everything is feeling good. Having said that, it's still not the same as getting on the field for live BP or the games in Spring Training. And obviously the season is a completely different animal, but I'm optimistic that it'll be fun."

Posey began hitting approximately three weeks ago and said his swing feels better mechanically than it did prior to the surgery, stoking optimism among the Giants that he'll be able to regain some of the power that he lost while dealing with persistent discomfort in his hip last season. Posey hit only five home runs in 2018, his fewest since 2011.

"He was a pretty good player last year even though he was dealing with his hip," manager Bruce Bochy said. "I know a lot is talked about the power, and I'm sure it's going to help out that he's going to be able to release [his hip] on the swing. I'll listen to our medical staff. They're confident that this is going to really help Buster out as far as catching, throwing and on the hitting side, so I'm confident."

Video: Buster Posey is the No. 1 catcher right now

Posey said he hopes to shoulder a similar type of catching workload that he's handled in the past, though president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said the Giants will be cautious with their star backstop.

"We're going to be smart about it, careful about it," Zaidi said. "Not just going into camp, but even going into the season. If things go super, super well and even if he's ready to carry a full catching load to start the season, I'm not sure that would be the prudent course for us. I think we're really going to err on the side of caution and that's one of the reasons continuing to look for catching help is going to be important for us."

Rookie Aramis Garcia is the only other catcher on the Giants' 40-man roster, though the club bolstered its depth by adding veteran Rene Rivera on a Minor League contract on Friday. Garcia, Rivera and Cameron Rupp, another non-roster invitee, are currently poised to compete for the backup catcher job this spring.

More injury updates

• Right-hander Jeff Samardzija (shoulder) has begun throwing bullpens and said his arm feels good heading into Spring Training.

"I feel good," Samardzija said. "My arm is craving more work, wants to throw long toss, wants to throw bullpens, sliders and curveballs. All I can go by is how I feel. I feel really good."

• Center fielder Steven Duggar (left shoulder surgery) has resumed hitting and is expected to be ready for Opening Day.

• First baseman Brandon Belt (knee surgery) and outfielder Mac Williamson (concussion) are also healthy and ready to go.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.

San Francisco Giants, Buster Posey