Buster Posey out for Season: 8 Moves Giants Can Make to Ease Pain

Barrett HansenAnalyst IIMay 30, 2011

Buster Posey out for Season: 8 Moves Giants Can Make to Ease Pain

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 22:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants singles to left field against the Oakland A's  in the third inning at AT&T Park on May 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  The Giants won 5-4 in 11 innings.  (Photo by Brian Bah
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Even though Buster Posey's year is over, the Giants still have 110 games to go.

    San Francisco will have to shake up their lineup to maximize the output of the rest of the players on their team, or possibly bring in some new guys to bring life to the organization.

    Here are eight moves the San Francisco Giants can make to ease the pain of losing star catcher Buster Posey for the season. 

Bring Back Bengie

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    SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 14:  Bengie Molina #1 of the San Francisco Giants bats against the Houston Astros at AT&T Park on May 14, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Bengie Molina, the Giants 2010 opening day catcher, is currently unemployed, and would definitely sign with the Giants if given an offer.

    However, the Giants' big friend has been without a job since Texas opted not to resign him—if he was fat and out of shape while playing, imagine how unfit he will be after being jobless for half a year.

    One look at that photo is enough. Orange doesn't exactly make him look slimmer.

    Sabean has already publicly stated his unwillingness to sign Bengie, so this option appears unlikely for now.

Trade for Pudge Rodriguez

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: Catcher Ivan Rodriguez #7 of the Washington Nationals gives the thumbs up to the crowd after the Nationals defeated the Florida Marlins 8-4  at Nationals Park on May 15, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Yes, Ivan Rodriguez is still playing baseball.

    Pudge signed a two-year deal with the Nationals before the 2010 season. He appears to be relegated to a mentor role, as second-year catcher Wilson Ramos has been getting most of the starts behind the dish.

    Washington GM Mike Rizzo very much wants to move Pudge. It would not be hard or expensive to acquire the future Hall-of-Famer. 

    Sabean just has to decide if Pudge gives the Giants a better chance to win than current starter Eli Whiteside. Rodriguez has won 13 Gold Gloves, but is unfamiliar with San Francisco's staff and is hitting only .211 in 76 at-bats in 2011. 

    Ultimately, I doubt trading for Pudge would positively impact the season. Whiteside's defense is fine, and San Francisco could easily get worse offense from Pudge than from the catchers on the active roster.

Dump Jeremy Affeldt

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 20:  Relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt #41 of the San Francisco Giants delivers against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 20, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    With such a stellar pitching staff that consistently goes deep into games, having seven relievers is superfluous. Especially when you consider that the best one, Sergio Romo, has only pitched 15.1 innings all year, just over half of Guillermo Mota's total. 

    Of the five relievers on the roster not named Brian Wilson or recently-activated Santiago Casilla, four have an ERA under 3.16 and a WHIP under 1.30. 

    The odd man out? Jeremy Affeldt, with a 5.82 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. 

    The Giants need offense more than pitching right now, and could use the extra bench spot for a pinch hitter or pinch runner. 

    This move would be impractical right now, as the beleaguered Giants might not have any one to call up.

    But when Pablo Sandoval, Darren Ford and Mike Fontenot all return from injury, San Francisco will have some personnel decisions to make. They could opt to keep one of Belt, Burriss or Crawford on the roster if they go with a six-man bullpen. 

Make Emmanuel Burriss the Every Day Shortstop

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 22:  Emmanuel Burriss #2 of the San Francisco Giants smiles before a game against the Oakland A's at AT&T Park on May 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  The Giants won 5-4 in 11 innings.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Emmanuel Burriss may not have Brandon Crawford's glove, but he's got speed.

    Burriss is a valuable piece at the top of the order. With Torres and Burriss hitting in front of Freddy Sanchez, the Giants put themselves in a good position to manufacture runs via the stolen base. 

    Allegiance to veterans doesn't win games. If San Francisco has to play scrappy to win, so be it. Burriss gives the team a great chance to score every time he gets on base.   

Dump Miguel Tejada

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 11:  Miguel Tejada #10 of the San Francisco Giants in action against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park on May 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Incredible that it took just one game for a guy who had never played a game above Double-A in his life to equal Miguel Tejada's homer count for the year.

    In my mind, that Brandon Crawford hit a clutch homerun is not as telling as that nobody else did it first.

    The Giants' offense relied on a rookie to knock in four of the seven runs they scored in the entire series against Milwaukee.

    Tejada's .212./.237/.274 line is frankly unacceptable this deep into the season. His OPS is a pathetic .511—23 major leaguers have a better slugging percentage than that.

    Dropping Miguel Tejada allows one more recent call-up to retain his roster spot. In my opinion, Burriss and Belt both deserve spots more than the 37-year-old veteran. 

    I would rather have Crawford than Tejada, but with Fontenot's reactivation, Crawford should return to the minors for more seasoning so he can be more useful down the road. 

    If the Giants are interested in winning this year, they will cut ties with their very unfortunate offseason acquisition in favor of younger and fresher legs. 

Start Brandon Belt Every Day

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    PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 17:  Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants at bat during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 17, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Giants 6-5 in the twelft
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Aubrey Huff is following up his impressive 2010 campaign with a weaker one than even the worst pessimists predicted.

    With a .224/.280/.344 line, Huff has become dead weight in the middle of the order. 

    Belt should be getting the majority of his starts in left field. But Pat Burrell will need to get his starts from time to time, and when that happens, it should be Belt playing first rather than Huff.

Put Aubrey Huff at Third

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 11:  Aubrey Huff #17 of the San Francisco Giants stands in the dugout before their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park on May 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    If Bochy is determined to get Aubrey Huff in the lineup at all costs, then he could slot him in at third base when Belt is at first, at least until Pablo returns. 

    Belt has played 360 games at the hot corner, as recently as 2008 with Baltimore.

    He has a career .947 fielding percentage there, so he is not a long-term solution. But Emmanuel Burriss, Sunday's third baseman, had never played a game there, even in the minors.

    With Huff at third base, the Giants could sport an all-lefty infield with Brandon Crawford, Emmanuel Burriss and Brandon Belt playing the remaining positions. The configuration could improve the team's chances vs. righties.   

    After having lost five of six and surrendering first place in the NL West to the Diamondbacks, the situation is becoming dire. The Giants need their best lineup on the field every day. Since Huff is not producing offensively, he will need to be flexible for Bochy to get the best players on the field and creating runs.

Do Not Start Aaron Rowand

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02:  Aaron Rowand #33 of the San Francisco Giants walks to the dugout after lining out in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 2, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won the game 2-0. (Photo by
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Don't get me wrong, I am extremely grateful to Aaron Rowand for his late-game heroics this April. 

    But he is four for his last 30, and hitting .180 in May. 

    Rowand has done little in recent years to merit a starting job, and his hot start to 2011 should not suddenly change that.

    Nate Schierholtz, Pat Burrell and now Brandon Belt have all been making stronger cases to be every day starters.

    Rowand can still be useful as a defensive replacement or pinch hitter. But his starts should be few and far between, at least until he can prove that he deserves otherwise.