C Hector Sanchez could play a role in where C/1B Buster Posey plays next season. The Giants have talked about moving Posey out from behind the plate, but one reason they have resisted so far is the lack of an adequate replacement. Sanchez would like to prove he could be that guy with a strong finish this season. He reached base on three of his four plate appearances (single, walk and hit by pitch) Saturday in the Giants' 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He's been hot of late, with six hits in his last 18 at-bats.
LHP Jeremy Affeldt threw off the bullpen mound before Saturday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, a necessary first step in his attempt to pitch again for the Giants this season. Even though Giants manager Bruce Bochy has vowed to take a look at younger players in September, he said Affeldt would definitely be used in his regular set-up duties if/when healthy. The plan is to send the veteran left-hander on an injury-rehab assignment in the minor leagues by the end of next week.
RHP Ryan Vogelsong is pitching for his next contract. That's nothing new. The journeyman right-hander has spent the better part of the last 13 years doing just that. The experience appears to have paid off for the 36-year-old. Vogelsong made his best start of the season in his last outing, limiting the Boston Red Sox to two runs in seven innings Tuesday night. Sunday, he gets another chance to prove he can slay the big boys when he faces the Pittsburgh Pirates in the finale of a four-game series. Vogelsong has never had much success against one of his former employers, going 1-3 against the Pirates with a 4.50 ERA in four career starts.
RHP Tim Lincecum demonstrated Saturday night why Giants fans are split on whether the team should commit to him long-term when he becomes a free agent this winter. Lincecum was equally brilliant, striking out eight in 5 1-3 innings, and frustrating, walking four while throwing almost as many balls (47) as strikes (54). Bottom line: He avoided adding to his National League-leading loss total (13) thanks to a four-run first inning and a bullpen that shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates on four hits. Despite his struggles, he left to a standing ovation in the sixth inning.
C/1B Buster Posey made his 13th start of the season at first base Saturday as manager Bruce Bochy wanted to keep his right-handed bat in the lineup while also giving him a break from catching. The Giants have talked about moving Posey fulltime to another position sometime in the future, but it's not something he wants to do. However, he's been so mediocre this season - he's gotten just three extra-base hits in his last 100 at-bats, for example -- the Giants are left to wonder whether the wear and tear of catching is starting to get to him. With 1B Brandon Belt and 3B Pablo Sandoval seemingly set at their positions for years to come, the club will consider moving Posey to second base or a corner outfield position next season. Most likely, he'll catch another year or two while the club tries to convince him a move is in his best interest.