SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants' 10-7 Cactus League triumph on Friday over the Mariners at Scottsdale Stadium raised a couple of essential issues about Buster Posey: the frequency with which the All-Star catcher can play the game's most grueling position and, when he does play, the spot in the batting
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants' 10-7 Cactus League triumph on Friday over the Mariners at Scottsdale Stadium raised a couple of essential issues about Buster Posey: the frequency with which the All-Star catcher can play the game's most grueling position and, when he does play, the spot in the batting order that he'll occupy to maximize his offensive production.
Both, of course, will be subject to Posey's health -- the condition of his body -- as well as of his skills.
Posey spoke after his most extensive game activity of the spring, a five-inning stint in which he went 3-for-3. It marked his first game since Feb. 25, due to the Giants' caution regarding his left ankle injury.
Posey revealed that his ailment, which limited him to two innings and two at-bats in Cactus League games before Friday, required him to undergo an MRI and receive a cortisone shot shortly before the exhibition season began.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
Posey, who referred to his injury as a "tweak," felt certain that his discomfort served as a reminder of the multiple injuries he sustained in his horrific May 25, 2011, home-plate collision with Scott Cousins of the Marlins.
"I'm sure it does," Posey said. "I would bet that it does."
The 30-year-old has avoided serious physical woes in six seasons since the collision. He started at catcher in 99 games last year, a personal low for a full season. But that largely stemmed from first baseman Brandon Belt's unavailability for the season's final 51 games after he was beaned. Posey started 18 of those games at first base.
Though Posey prefers to catch, "I've always gone into it with an open mind that I could see more time at first. My mindset is to prepare myself to catch every day and adjust from there."
Posey probably won't have to adjust to a new spot in the batting order. He'll likely hit fourth, the position he has occupied for most of his career. Against Seattle left-hander James Paxton on Friday, Andrew McCutchen, Posey and Nick Hundley were in the lineup batting third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Evan Longoria was initially penciled in for fifth but was scratched with stiffness in his left ankle.
"It doesn't matter where I hit," said Posey, who has started 692 games batting cleanup and 248 games from the third spot.
Still, get used to this trio batting together. Manager Bruce Bochy said that he won't hesitate to deploy McCutchen, Posey and Longoria consecutively, in some combination, even if a challenging right-handed starter is facing the Giants.
Some teams might throw in a left-handed batter for balance. However, Bochy doesn't feel compelled to follow that logic. He pointed out that this threesome doesn't need such assistance.
"You're talking about three guys who play every day [against] righties or lefties," Bochy said.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.