Shock has turned into reality – the Giants are going to be without their uber star Buster Posey for at least two months, and that’s assuming all goes well in rehab.
Not only do the Giants lose a force in the middle of their lineup, they lose their field general – their backstop – the man the Giants staff generally loves pitching to. To say it’s a huge blow to the Giants would be an extreme understatement, but panic? I wouldn’t go that far. This group of Giants is a resilient bunch – we learned that last season. We’ve went through injuries to Brian Wilson – Pablo Sandoval – Andres Torres – Matt Cain (I still don’t think he’s right) and now Buster Posey, all in the first quarter of the season. We’ve had major players such as Aubrey Huff struggle like no other time in his career – Miguel Tejada struggle to break the Mendoza line, yet, here site the Giants, in first place.
So where do the Giants go now? How do they make it through until Buster returns? Let’s look at the options.
Eli Whiteside – This is obviously the route they’re going now simply by default, but it might be the most logical once all is said and done. Whiteside has extreme familiarity with the entire staff and almost all pitchers have raved about pitching to him at one point or another during his tenure in the Bay. Eli’s a solid defensive catcher and isn’t a slouch when it comes to throwing out runners. You wont ever confuse his gun with Pudge, but, it’s respectable. As for his offense? Well, we don’t really know what Eli can do as a starter. Is he a .230 hitter like his career numbers say? I find it difficult to peg what has been a general bench career as to what he can do in a starting role, so we’ll see. I wouldn’t expect more than a .250-.260 however.
Chris Stewart – Not really an option. He’s here to give Whiteside a spell.
George Kottaras (Brewers) – With Jonathan Lucroy and Wil Nieves handling backstop duties in Milwaukee, Kottaras has little to do other than wait for a move. Statistically, he hasn’t impressive offensively but scouts have always talked about his above average offensive potential from the catcher position. He showed a bit of that last year knocking out 9 HR’s in just over 200 at-bat’s. Currently hitting a respectable .271 in AAA, he’s better than Eli offensively and maybe a step behind defensively.
Ivan Rodriguez (Nationals) – The Nat’s have made no secret that Pudge is on the block. With Wilson Ramons their backstop of the future, getting anything out of Pudge in a trade for the Nationals would be considered a win, especially since the 39 year old is only hitting .205. Pudge is still a force behind the dish though – while not as quick and agile, he’s still above average defensively and still possesses his ever-famous hose.
Ryan Doumit (Pirates) – Most likely the best offensive catcher to be made available to the Giants, it comes at a hefty price. Defense. A career .268 hitter, Doumit would most certainly add some solid punch and pop to the Giants lineup but with a team that struggles to score runs, having such a defensive liability behind the plate might not be worth the offensive punch Doumit could provide.
Bengie Molina (Free Agent) – No. Just, no. The only possible way I’d advocate it for him to be a spot start just to spell Eli, and even then – that’s pushing it. Yes, I know he has familiarity with the staff but this boat has long sailed. We can all remember how frustrated we were with him clogging the basepaths. He’s not in game shape and he’s going to take a few weeks in the minors to even get to that point. I’d bring him in to help Eli and Chris (or whatever new catcher the Giants would acquire in a mentor role), but Bengie isn’t helping the Giants anymore than Eli or any other backstop would.
Ryan Hanigan/Ramon Hernandez (Reds) – This one is tough since the Reds really have no need to move either nor has either really established themselves as a starter. With that said, both guys have no problems offensively and while they might be a downgrade from Eli on the defensive side, they’re also not Ryan Doumit either. If one were to become available, and that’s a large if, I’d be all over that if I’m the Giants.
Jorge Posada (Yankees) – I know some people have mentioned this one, but, I just don’t see it. It’s a mini PR issue for the Yankees to move him unless he specifically asks out and even though he’s said he WANTS to catch, wanting and doing so are two different things. Add in the really below average defense and what I’d expect to be a mildly high asking price, it doesn’t really seem too feasible at this point.
So, my internet Sabean’s, what move do you make?