Buster Posey, a key ingredient in the San Francisco Giants’ 2010 World Series Championship, will return to the roster after missing much of the 2011 season (thank you, Scott Cousins). Everybody in baseball knows this. But how will Buster Posey’s return impact the Giants? Here are ten predictions for Posey’s return.
Buster Posey is young, and with age comes the ability to rebound more easily from injury. That being said, it might be unrealistic to expect Buster Posey to regain the form that led him to the 2010 Rookie of the Year Award as catcher for the world champion San Francisco Giants.
Even if Posey returns at full health, it might take him a few months to re-acclimate himself to big-league pitching. Players who return from serious injuries often never recover to pre-injury performance, but I believe that by June Posey should be back to at least 2011 form. I base this expectation on absolutely nothing, mind you.
The return of Buster Posey should enable the Giants to continue their streak of consecutive sellouts, at least in the short term.
The fact that the Giants’ front office seems unlikely to pull the trigger on any of the big-ticket free agents on the market (Fielder, Pujols, Reyes, Rollins and even Beltran) will irk a fair amount of fans, but they will still flock to the ballpark to see the return of their conquering hero.
Gone. And Also Forgotten.
The lineup that the San Francisco Giants fielded for the latter part of the 2011 campaign often seemed like a glorified AAA lineup. Renowned sluggers such as Brandon Crawford, Orlando Cabrera, Aaron Rowand, Miguel Tejada and Andres Torres frequently batted either at the top or in the middle of the order. Fortunately, only one of those players (Brandon Crawford) will return in 2011.
Even without the acquisition of free agents, having Melky Cabrera, Freddy Sanchez and Buster Posey batting in the lineup will significantly improve one of the most anemic offenses in baseball. Posey’s presence might also motivate other hitters in much the same way as his 2010 presence transformed the Giants into a World Series champion.
It might sound difficult to believe, but the San Francisco Giants pitching staff will likely be even better in 2012 than it was in 2011. Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart competently called ballgames for the All-Star stacked staff, but Posey’s familiarity and chemistry with the young rotation will be welcome.
I also expect that, with the increased offensive force that Buster Posey represents, the Giants’ starters will feel less pressure to throw a shutout every game.
The Giants play in a relatively weak division, and with Buster Posey back in place, they should be able to capture the NL West crown in 2012. Whether or not the Giants can win their second world championship in three years will be a function of luck more than anything else, but Posey’s return should put them in position to make a decent playoff run.
Buy an earguard, Scotty-Boy
Time for some BOLD predictions. I predict that Scott Cousins will resurface in 2012, and that he will step to the plate with Buster Posey behind the dish.
It does not matter who the starting pitcher of that game is. I don’t even think it matters what pitch Buster Posey calls for. Mark my words: Scott Cousins will get thrown at.
Expect More of This
How about another bold prediction? This one might not be as far-fetched as it might seem. What happens if Posey has no rust? He proved in his rookie season that he can be a .300 hitter, and if he hits .300 with 30 home runs and 100 RBI, all within the realm of possibility, the MVP award might not be out of the question.
So there you have it. Buster Posey will be the National League MVP in 2012.
Yet another bold prognostication, although this one is more of an if/then prediction.
If Buster Posey does not go on an MVP tear, it will be because he suffers an injury that puts him on the DL long enough to take him out of the race.
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Because the Giants will go on another deep playoff run, Brian Wilson will successfully coerce every member of the San Francisco Giants to grow a beard. The beard will be large, bushy and jet black, just like Wilson’s.
In the event that the young Posey cannot grow a full beard, he might purchase a “facial toupee” to preserve appearance.
Hey, I can dream, can’t I?