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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 3, 2010

MLB: Giants’ Posey to start the season in Triple-A

By Daniel Brown
San Jose Mercury News

Buster Posey did what he could to make an impression, hitting .321 with power and showing off improved defensive skills.

He'll start the season in the minors anyway.

The Giants made it official Friday, announcing that the catching phenom was ticketed for Triple-A Fresno. The team wants Posey to refine his skills with regular playing time rather than riding the bench behind veteran Bengie Molina.

Posey wasn't surprised by the move, since manager Bruce Bochy had dropped enough not-so-subtle hints over the course of spring training.

Still, the lack of drama didn't remove the disappointment.

"Of course, you want to be in the bigs," Posey, 23, said, shortly after getting the news. "You ask anybody in this room and they would say the same thing. But I'm looking forward to playing every day. I'm excited."

In 53 spring training at-bats, Posey had four doubles, a homer and a .453 slugging percentage.

Bochy said the Giants were also pleased with Posey's development behind the plate, where he improved as a receiver and pitch-caller.

"He had a good spring," Bochy said. "We just feel at this time that Posey needs to go down and continue to get playing time and get his at-bats.

—In other roster moves, the Giants optioned pitchers Alex Hinshaw, Kevin Pucetas and Henry Sosa, infielders Ryan Rohlinger and Matt Downs to Triple-A Fresno. The team also reassigned pitcher Felix Romero, shortstop Brandon Crawford and catcher Steve Holm to minor-league camp.

Sending down Pucetas all but confirms that Todd Wellemeyer will be the team's fifth starter, although Bochy said he wouldn't make an official announcement until Saturday.

—Those moves get the Giants roster down to 29 players. If the team puts infielders Emmanuel Burris and Freddy Sanchez and outfielder Fred Lewis on the disabled list, as expected, that would leave just one cut to get to the 25-player roster due Saturday at 6 p.m. The decision could come down between relievers Guillermo Mota and Denny Bautista.

—Hinshaw, like Posey, made a strong case for a roster spot. In 7 2/3 innings this spring, he allowed five hits, two runs and struck out eight. "I thought Hinny really looked great this spring," Bochy said. "His velocity is back. He looked stronger. I liked the way he carried himself."