The Giants got a major scare on Monday when Buster Posey took a 93 mph fastball to the helmet, forcing him out of the team’s home-opening 4-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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The postgame outlook was positive from the Giants perspective, but that doesn’t by any means indicate they are out of the woods. As the Bay Area News Group’s Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly explained on a Tuesday morning appearance on KNBR, the team has very good reason to play it extra cautious with their franchise player.
“He plays catcher, and I think they’ve learned through Mike Matheny, through all these other concussion issues they’ve been through, that when you have a number of impacts in a short period of time, that’s when they can really take a Richter scale kind of effect and can be career-threatening or life-altering,” Baggarly said on the Murph & Mac Show. “And so they’re going to be very, very cautious with Buster because of the position that he plays. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if maybe when he comes back to the lineup, they might put him at first base for a game just to make sure he’s OK.”
Matheny, the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals since 2012, saw his playing career end in 2006 as a member of the Giants when a series of foul balls to the mask led to lingering concussion symptoms. Giants manager Bruce Bochy specifically mentioned the fear that Posey would take a foul ball off the mask later in the game as a reason why Posey immediately exited on Monday.
“He could be fine, he could be in the lineup today,” Baggarly said of Posey. “They’re going to get him to the ballpark and I’m sure they’ll put him on a treadmill and get his heart rate up. Sometimes that’s when these symptoms unmask themselves a little bit, but they’re going to cross their fingers and hope that he is feeling fine and none of these stuff sort of sets in.
“Because we saw Joe Panik when he got hit in the head last year by Matt Moore, not only did he stay in that game, he hit a three-run homer later in that game and then it wasn’t until a day or two later that he started to realize something was wrong. The Giants are smart enough to know that just because they couldn’t diagnose him with a concussion yesterday doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one, so they’re going to watch him real carefully.”
Further updates on Posey are expected later this afternoon when he arrives at AT&T Park, but Giants relief pitcher George Kontos offered what he knows during an appearance on 95.7 The Game.
“As he was leaving the game yesterday, I walked up and asked him how he was doing,” Kontos said. “He said he was feeling pretty normal. He passed all his concussion protocol from my understanding, so I guess once he shows up to the yard today, I think they’ll do another just quick check on him and I guess go from there. But he seems fine, he seemed healthy and normal, so that’s the most important part.”