Buster Posey’s recovery and rehab from last summer’s hip injury have gone so smoothly, one can easily forget the gravity of the operation and how questionable it was in August that he would be ready by the 2019 season opener.
Now everyone is getting a small reminder.
Posey has not had a significant setback, and the Giants still believe he will catch Madison Bumgarner in San Diego in two weeks, but manager Bruce Bochy revealed that he had to scratch Posey as the designated hitter in Sunday’s game against the Rangers, a day after Posey caught against the Cubs.
Posey described the reason as “general muscle soreness” around the hip.
Bochy further acknowledged it was “fair to say” Posey might not be able to carry a normal catching workload early in the season, which underscores the importance of picking his backup.
“I’ll have to watch him early in the season,” Bochy said. “We’re not going to grind him. I said this: We don’t know how he is going to respond to catching back-to-back nine-inning games. We’re hopeful. We’ll cross that bridge before the season starts.”
Nothing in these words should alarm the faithful. If Posey had any lingering structural issues with the hip, Bochy and the medical staff would not have allowed him to catch Bumgarner for five innings Tuesday night, two days after his precautionary scratch.
Posey even made light of Bochy’s promise to make him catch a nine-inning game at least once before Opening Day, probably in the Bay Bridge exhibition series.