Issue: Buster’s backup
Analysis: Manager Bruce Bochy has said that he probably won’t name a backup to Buster Posey until the end of camp, and that deciding between Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart will be one of his toughest decisions.
It shouldn’t be. It’s an easy call. It should be Hector Sanchez.
In fact, Sanchez should have been told that — privately — before camp even opened. With Posey’s durability in question, the Giants desperately need a backup who can provide some of the offensive punch they lose when Posey is out, and the virtually punchless bats of Whiteside (he batted .197 last year, .218 for his career) and Stewart (.204, .200) negate whatever warm-and-fuzzy feelings the pitching staff has for throwing to them.
Hell, Estelle Getty could catch this staff and it would put up sick numbers.
Meanwhile, Sanchez is a fast-track prospect who’s 22 years old, hits from both sides of the plate with pop and is obviously being groomed for the role Posey could very well vacate within a year or two should he change positions in an effort to reduce the Joe Mauer Effect.
Sanchez is no slouch behind the plate, either. He’d be fine a couple times a week, and that experience — as well as that of catching side sessions in the bullpen all season — would better prepare him for an eventual starting role than being in the minors.
He’ll get more at-bats than a typical backup with the Giants, who should have pulled him aside before camp and boosted his confidence by telling him the backup job was his to lose.