For the first time in years, ‘Hell on Wheels’ did not blare through the AT&T Park speakers when Buster Posey entered the batter’s box at San Francisco Giants 2017’s home opener. A new country tune rang out, instead.
Within the minute, Posey was drilled in the head with a 94 mph fastball from Arizona Diamondbacks starter Taijuan Walker. Tuesday morning, the Giants (3-5) announced that Posey would be placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Musical coincidence? Posey thinks, maybe not:
“Yeah, might need to change it now. I actually thought about that.”
Posey was in a good mood following the announcement. He felt “symptoms” of some sort — manager Bruce Bochy said fogginess — but “nothing crazy.”
Given how he feels today, Posey thinks he shouldn’t be out too long after the initial seven days. However, it took Joe Panik a few days after he was in hit in 2016 for the concussion symptoms to kick in, and the same can be said of Brandon Belt. Immediate removal from the game and roster was imperative given his susceptibility to foul tips behind the dish, the All-Star catcher noted:
“It’s a smart move, especially to have that one yesterday and as a catcher, you never know.”
Said Bochy, who spent nine seasons as a big league backstop himself:
“That’s the biggest reason, is that he is a catcher.”
The skipper added:
“He was a little foggy. … Doesn’t take a lot. If you have a little bit of feeling after being hit in the head, you’re gonna be on the DL.”
“It’s bigger than baseball.”
Tim Federowicz, or as Bochy calls him, Fed-X, had his contract purchased from Triple-A Sacramento to be the backup catcher to Nick Hundley. Since he wasn’t on the 40-man roster, pitcher Clayton Blackburn was designated for assignment.
Blackburn is said to have garnered interest from other clubs, so he may be traded instead of designated outright back to the minors.
The 24-year-old right-hander was a top prospect as a potential presence in the big league rotation until a slight slip. In 2015, he held a 2.85 ERA, earning him Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year honors. He was recalled in May last year, but never made a debut with the team that drafted him in the 16th round of the 2011 draft.