Posey’s ankle no longer a concern

Buster Posey isn’t thinking about his surgically repair ankle at the moment. He’s only concerned with becoming a better baseball player. And that’s a scary thought for opponents considering how good he is now.

Almost two years after the collision heard ’round the baseball world, Giants manager Bruce Bochy says the topic of Posey’s ankle isn’t a topic of conversation anymore.

Posey epitomized the definition of “comeback player of the year,” winning the National League batting crown, MVP and leading the Giants to their second World Series title in three years. The Giants just hoped he’d be able to play a full season without any setbacks or complications.

But just because Posey says he’s not thinking about his ankle anymore doesn’t mean Bochy and the Giants shouldn’t still be cautious with the heart and soul of the team. Posey played 112 games at catcher in 2012 and 29 games at first base. And the Giants plan to have Posey play first base again in 2013.

The Giants must continue to protect their catcher. Everybody would love to see him catch 140+ games, but he’s too valuable to take that kind of risk.

The Giants and Posey made the right decision when they announced that he would skip the World Baseball Classic. In a perfect world, we would have loved to have seen Posey lead Team USA to the WBC title at AT&T Park, but there is no point in putting extra innings on Posey’s legs. It’s better to let him take his time getting ready in spring training rather than rushing him to get ready for a few games in March.

Posey’s teammates are glad he’s not playing in the WBC.

Brandon Belt will just have to get used to playing left field 30 times a year. But as Bochy told CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly, that’s better than Belt on the bench.

“I don’t want to take Belt’s bat out of there. Hopefully that’s how left field will help.”

Belt’s defense at first base is valuable, but Posey’s presence in the lineup is infinitely more important.

And if you think Posey is content with all the success he’s had early in his career, think again.