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Posey's likely backup injured, could miss 2020

Garcia expected to miss six to eight months after hip surgery
@mi_guardado
February 8, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- Three days before pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training, the Giants on Saturday delivered bad news on catcher Aramís García, who appeared to be in line to serve as Buster Posey’s backup this year. Garcia, 27, injured his right hip while playing winter

SAN FRANCISCO -- Three days before pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training, the Giants on Saturday delivered bad news on catcher Aramís García, who appeared to be in line to serve as Buster Posey’s backup this year.

Garcia, 27, injured his right hip while playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic in December and underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the labrum this week. He is expected to miss six to eight months, which could sideline him for the entire 2020 season.

Garcia appeared in 37 games for the Giants over the last two seasons, batting .229 over 111 plate appearances in the Majors, but he was poised to take on a bigger role with the club following the departure of Stephen Vogt, who signed with the D-backs in November.

The Giants could seek more catching depth in the wake of Garcia’s injury, though three non-roster invitees -- Tyler Heineman, Rob Brantly and Chadwick Tromp -- remain in the backup mix.

Heineman, a switch-hitter, could be the new front-runner after joining the organization on a Minor League deal last month. The 28-year-old batted .336 with a .990 OPS and 13 home runs over 73 games at the Triple-A level last year. He made his Major League debut with the Marlins in September and went 3-for-11 over five games.

Joey Bart, the Giants’ top prospect in the MLB Pipeline rankings, also will be back in big league camp this spring, though president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has said that he doesn’t view the 23-year-old as a candidate for the Opening Day roster. The Giants believe Bart needs a little more seasoning in the Minors before he’s ready to make the jump to San Francisco, especially after he missed significant time last year because of two separate hand fractures.

"That could change, but as things stand right now, with the injury he had last year -- maybe if that had been different and he was further along it might be different -- but we still see him as someone we'd like to see get reps," Zaidi said Thursday. "It's a long Spring Training. A lot of things can happen. No matter what I say now, I know he's going to really impress people."

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