Work To Be Done

Posey polishing up his game calling




SAN FRANCISCO—The Buster Posey watch became a vigil as he began tearing up Triple-A pitching the first week of May.

But Giants general manager Brian Sabean said that the organization's brightest hitting prospect in years still wasn't ready to catch in the big leagues.

"He's still learning," Sabean said. "Some of that is game calling. Some of that is the consistency that he needs as, we hope, as an offensive catcher. He's a guy, when he comes up, who will need to be able to contribute on both sides."

Besides, the Giants were off to a terrific start, catcher Bengie Molina was producing at the plate and the pitching staff was a series of smoking aces as they threw to familiar hands in Molina and Eli Whiteside.

Posey's bat is making a statement, though. He hit his fourth home run and boosted his line to .345/.434/.536 after another solid early May. But those numbers, while encouraging, don't provide an overriding impetus for Sabean to get Posey, 23, to the big leagues.

"Triple-A baseball isn't very good. I'm going to tell you that right now," he said. "Especially from a pitching standpoint. Anybody who can pitch is in the big leagues."

It provides a challenge to evaluate a position prospect's readiness, Sabean said.

"You'd better have a lot of people see 'em at different times and write their reports and almost have a straw poll of private ballots," Sabean said. "Because I don't know what it means anymore, in the PCL. It's almost like years ago."

Sabean dispelled the notion that the Giants would wait until mid-June to bring up Posey, the fifth overall pick of the 2008 draft out of Florida State, thus delaying his arbitration eligibility by a year.

GIANTICS

• Power-hitting outfielder Roger Kieschnick had trouble finding his longball stroke at Double-A Richmond. Through 111 at-bats, he was batting .279/.325/.324 with just four extra-base hits—two doubles and two triples—and six RBIs.

• Tony Pena, the former big league shortstop, was progressing in his conversion to the mound. After a mostly solid spring, he had a 1.42 ERA and an 0.84 WHIP in his first 12 appearances for Richmond. In 19 innings he had struck out 12 while walking five.