Giant Killer

Photo Credit: Sergio Estrada | USA Today Sports

By Rich Daniels

In what quite possibly signals surrender in the race for the post-season, the Giants announced that six-time All-Star catcher Buster Posey will miss the rest of the season with a hip injury. Posey has obviously been hobbled by what is reported to be a bone spur in the hip which has inflicted tearing in the joint's labrum, the soft cartilage lining the interior of the hip socket.

The 31-year old backstop has endured the sharp pinches in his hip all season in an effort to keep the Giants in the race, but with the team fading to nine games behind the pace in the National League's West Division the move makes sense to undertake now. Recovery time for the procedure that will remove the bone spur and repair the labrum will take from six to eight months which could extend deep into spring training next year. Posey missed the All-Star game this season in favor of resting the injury and received a cortisone shot in an effort to remain a relevant piece of the pennant race puzzle.

Posey has faced declining productivity in his recent career, something not uncommon to aging, high-mileage catchers. In 2015 Posey produced 19 HR, 95 RBI's and a .849 OPS. Those totals fell to 14/80/.796 in 2016 and 12/67/.861 in 2017. This season it was clear that Posey was not even up to those standards with 5 HR, 41 RBI's and .741 OPS in 398 at-bats. In recent seasons the Giants have done their best to ease the workload on Posey with stints at first base and DH in interleague games, but there was no hiding his difficulties this year.

With playoff hopes thinning by the day, the bulk of the catching duties for San Francisco will fall on 34-year-old Nick Hundley. Once an everyday catcher himself, Hundley is in his eleventh season and has had a taste of the pennant race while with Baltimore in 2014. A third-generation major leaguer, Hundley has actually been more productive per at-bat than Posey with 9 HR, 30 RBI's and a .725 OPS in 193 at-bats. 

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