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Buster Posey drops in lineup again, now in very unfamiliar territory

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday and Wednesday, Buster Posey received two straight off-days, benched in favor of Stephen Vogt.

During a tough week for the legendary Giants catcher, he hit a new lineup low Friday.

Posey was batting sixth against hard-throwing Miami righty Sandy Alcantara at Oracle Park, as three of the first four hitters (Mike Yastrzemski, Brandon Belt and cleanup-hitter Vogt) are lefties. Evan Longoria was batting third and Kevin Pillar fifth.

“We just thought that would be a good place for him tonight,” said Bruce Bochy, Posey’s greatest supporter. “Still going to hit down in the 2, 3 or 4 hole. Just want to take a look at it here tonight.”

Posey had not dropped out of the top-four spots in the lineup until Aug. 29, the manager standing by the catcher long after many fans did. He hadn’t dropped any further, though, until Friday. This is the first time Posey has been slotted that low since Sept. 3, 2010.

On the season, the 32-year-old is slashing .257/.322/.368. He’s actually swinging better in September — he entered 8-for-24 (.333) this month — but without an extra-base hit. His power has disappeared, 11 total home runs over the past two seasons.

“If you look at my numbers, you can tell I haven’t had the greatest year,” Posey said Monday. “So confidence is probably not going to be at an all-time high.”

The Giants are pushing back the expected returns for Alex Dickerson and Will Smith by a couple days.

Bochy had mentioned both as possibilities for this weekend, and Dickerson told KNBR this week he expected to be able to pinch-hit Friday and start Saturday. Not quite for Dickerson, who Bochy said would continue swinging and then run the bases Saturday.

“Could be ready in Boston,” Bochy said.

As for Smith, who was set to throw off flat ground Friday, “I think we’ll try to get him through this weekend before we use him unless he comes out just so good today,” said Bochy, saying the closer’s return likely will be Tuesday.

Pablo Sandoval is not going to Boston with the Giants, which does not qualify as a shocker.

“I think that’s why he had the surgery,” Bochy joked.

Bochy was coy again on whether he would put Yastrzemski in left at Fenway Park in a nod to his grandfather, Carl.

“I don’t know. We’ll see,” Bochy said.


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