San Francisco Giants 2011: Cody Ross and 5 Heroes in Wake of Buster Posey Injury

Barrett HansenAnalyst IIJuly 6, 2011

San Francisco Giants 2011: Cody Ross and 5 Heroes in Wake of Buster Posey Injury

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    When a marquee player like Buster Posey hits the DL, veteran players like Cody Ross have to step up and shoulder the load.

    Posey is an especially difficult guy to replace. No single player could reasonably be expected to meet such a tall order—it has to be a team effort.

    Here are five guys who have stepped up in the wake of the Buster Posey injury to help the Giants remain in first place.

5. Freddy Sanchez

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    Freddy Sanchez was the biggest hero of all after Buster Posey's injury, but unfortunately sustained one himself not too long after. 

    After Posey went down, Sanchez began to shoulder the offensive load, moving from his customary second spot to the third hole in the order.

    He hit .300 from May 1st until his injury on June 10th, and was part of numerous late-game rallies. Sanchez was also finding the gaps, and was on pace for about 40 doubles.

    Sanchez's presence will be sorely missed, and with all hope, he will return in August.

4. Brandon Crawford

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    Since his call-up on May 26th, Brandon Crawford has been a steady hand defensively at shortstop.

    Besides his grand slam in his debut against the Brewers, Crawford has done little offensively, hitting a measly .216/.310/.324. 

    Fortunately, the Giants were interested more in his glove than his bat, and they have been rewarded. Crawford's solid defense has been a marked improvement over Miguel Tejada's board hands, and has helped keep the Giants in close contests.

    Having a fortified middle infield has done wonders in improving what was a very porous Giants defense.

    Crawford should also be recognized for playing competitive ball coming straight from High-A San Jose. A .216 average might not be good by major league standards, but it sure is impressive for an emergency call-up who had never played higher than Double-A in his life.

3. Aaron Rowand

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    Aaron Rowand and his strange hip motions are actually a lot better than Giants fans think.

    The former Philly holds a .381/.412/.540 split against lefties, best on the team.

    Even though he is not a regular starter, Rowand does find ways to help the team whenever he can. He plays stellar defense, and is a very reliable fourth outfielder.

    San Francisco's greatest strength is its depth. Aaron Rowand is a big reason for that, and has continued to produce off the bench over the last month.

2. Nate Schierholtz

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    By providing clutch hit after clutch hit, Nate Schierholtz has worked his way up the outfield pecking order, and finds himself in the starting lineup on a fairly regular basis.

    Much attention has been focused on Pat Burrell's underwhelming production, but Schierholtz is picking up the slack and contributing with amazing defense and timely hitting.

    His .271 batting average is not bad in the current run economy.

    Considering he is pretty fast and plays brilliant defense as well, Schierholtz has been one of San Francisco's best players in the past month, and has definitely helped the team compensate for Posey's injury.

1. Cody Ross

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    Cody Ross has come on as of late, hitting .303/.380/.468 in June with two homers and 12 doubles since June 1st.

    Last year's NLCS MVP missed most of spring training and the first three weeks of the season with a calf injury. The next two or three weeks were a tune-up, and since then Ross has hit his stride.

    San Francisco needs Cody Ross to perform at a high level—with Buster Posey and now Freddy Sanchez on the disabled list, at least one veteran has to step up and hit on a regular basis.

    Cody Ross has so far been that guy. San Francisco hopes he can continue to produce, as the team needs any sort of offense it can find.