Listen, before I get too involved here, make no mistake about it. I don’t dislike Bengie. He seems like a swell guy. He’s a talented catcher. He’s had a nice career in the big leagues and played a big role for the Giants the past few years. But with all of that said, Bengie has really soured on me – and not so much because of his play (which has been downright awful, but, his attitude and big mouth).
Molina has made it no secret that he’s not a fan of Giants uber prospect (and sadly their best hitter) Buster Posey, even going as far to say that he’d rather retire than become a backup/teacher/mentor to Posey. Well, gee – thanks Molina. Way to put the team first and all. But there is this one small problem with that. Molina makes the team worse and the issue becomes compounded with Bruce Bochy’s desire to slam him into the 4/5/6 hole every night he gets a start, something Bochy said he wouldn’t do this year (way to go Boch!).
Can Molina call a better game than Posey? Maybe. Tough to tell though, as Posey (who called his first game of the season last night along with Zito) proved to be extremely solid in doing so. He and Zito called their own game according to the Giants coaching staff and Posey wasn’t shook off any more than Molina in a typical Zito outing. In addition to that, Posey displayed his cannon of an arm in a critical strike out – throw out double play that really swung the momentum back into the Giants favor, something we’ve seen the Giants struggle with routinely this season. I’m not trying to blame Molina for that as the staff has done a pretty awful job holding runners on, but the runner got a pretty solid jump off Zito last night and Posey had him gunned out by a good three to four feet – so much so that Uribe or Sanchez (can’t recall the tagger) had to hold their glove in position for a few moments until the runner finally reached second base.
As for the offensive side of the ball, do I really need to even get into that? Posey is superior to Molina in every category other than power, and really, that will be pretty close once Posey spends a bit more time at the big league level. Posey has pretty much shown he’s the best Giant hitter on the roster, top to bottom. He’s continually clutch with two strikes, always adjusting his approach at the plate to meet the moment. I swear, give Posey a toothpick and he’d turn it into a deadly weapon, MacGyver style. His strikes on the ball are always powerful and I’ve yet to see him have a poor at-bat, even if it results in an out. We’re routinely forced to watch the hacking and flailing of Molina, Sandoval, and Rowand….so watching the polished swings of Posey is a sight to be seen.
Along with the stick, Molina’s lack of speed is an absolute killer, assuming he does reach base. The only slot that Molina could even possibly be okay in is 7th. He can’t bat 8th as he’d be gunned out on a double play every time the pitcher attempted a sacrifice. He can’t bat any higher as he turns the Giants into a station to station team (even worse than they already are) if he’s on base. And while Posey is far from Ricky Henderson out there, he can motor it along well enough that a base hit will score the backstop from second, unlike Molina.
I’m not advocating that Molina ride the pine the rest of the year. Not at all. With the way the Giants roster fills out, there is more than enough room to play him a few days a week if they so desire. Timmy enjoys throwing to him and it will give Buster a rest from the grinds of catching. But to continually slam him in the starting lineup as if he’s earned a right for it, well, I can’t raise my hand in approval for that. In his short time on a big league roster, Buster Posey has proven he belongs and is the future of the San Francisco Giants franchise. Putting what is essentially a half year rental (from this point forward) and a guy who has no desire to put team first over your future? Seems like a typical Giants front office/coaching staff move. Maybe one day they’ll get it….