Buster Posey gives one a ride. pic.twitter.com/TpuW4YyoSS
— KNBR (@KNBR) February 13, 2020
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Looking great under a February Arizona sun guarantees nothing, but it’s sure better than the light illuminating swing holes and wrinkles.
Buster Posey’s swing looked loose and easy, a stroke that will be placed under the microscope in the coming weeks as tweaks begin, seeing what can be done to reverse the course of a soon-to-be 33-year-old who’s looked like a shell of himself in recent seasons.
After 2018 hip surgery, Posey entered last year’s camp struggling to run, his offseason having been spent rehabbing and beginning a disappointing and long season for the Giants. Posey has now had a full offseason to rest instead of rehab, to focus on his bat instead of his gait.
“One thing that we’ve seen that’s unequivocally clear is that his power is right where it needs to be,” Gabe Kapler said Thursday of Posey, whose downturn has included 12 home runs in 219 games the last two seasons. “Even in early batting-practice sessions, you can see the flight of the ball and it tells a really good story. The ball’s coming off his bat really well. … Two or three people told me about some balls that he’s putting in the trees out there.
“That’s not an accident, it means that his body’s feeling good.”
Posey confirmed as much and said he’s optimistic about working with, in particular, director of hitting Dustin Lind, who was picked up from Seattle and who has a doctorate in physical therapy.
If Lind (& Co.) can help his swing and help his health, a team that lost Aramis Garcia and is searching for its backup catcher would be much more comfortable.
“Hopefully there’s some things I can do throughout the year that I can prep my body a little bit better,” Posey said.
Yolmer Sanchez, a Gold Glover, already has shown off just how slick his middle-infield hands are. But he’s an early project for the Giants’ hitting minds who want to squeeze more out of a bat that hit .252/.318/.321 last season, with just a pair of homers in 555 White Sox plate appearances.
“We think there’s some upside in the bat,” Kapler said of the switch-hitting 27-year-old. “Our hitting coaches have been working with Yolmer dating back into the winter. Excited about the changes that are being made, the swing adjustments that are being made.”
Kapler saw “20 to 25 pitches” from Johnny Cueto’s first bullpen session of the spring.
“The thing that stands out to me is, first of all, he’s in great shape,” the manager said of perhaps the Giants’ ace. “Equally important for me is how well he controls his body, and how he changes up the pace of his delivery.”