SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — When Buster Posey underwent major hip surgery late last season, Madison Bumgarner didn't really expect to be throwing to his good friend on Opening Day. He certainly didn’t expect to be throwing to Posey on March 1.
“I always tell him catchers are a lot tougher than pitchers are,” Posey said, laughing as he looked over at Bumgarner.
The two were back together Friday night, bringing some normalcy to a stretch that has been anything but for the Giants. For the face of the franchise, this was a significant step. Posey caught three innings, singled in his first at-bat, and tested his surgically repaired hip right away by sprinting from first to third on a bloop to right.
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As Posey held one hand up, calling for time, there seemed no doubt: He’ll be ready to go March 28 at Petco Park.
“It would have been nice to maybe ease into it a little bit but it was also nice to check off some more boxes, and we’ll see how my body responds tomorrow and Sunday,” Posey said. “Overall I was really happy with the way it felt.”
It has been smooth sailing through a lengthy rehab process, and Posey hasn't been noticeably limited this spring. He said he feels better physically than he did a year ago, and not just at the plate. Even getting down in the crouch felt better Friday.
"I feel more free," he said. "I think that's a good way to put it."
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Posey is scheduled to catch again Sunday and then be the DH on Monday to make up some at-bats. Barring a setback, he'll team up with Bumgarner in a month for the season opener.
"This is awesome that he's ready to go now, pretty much," Bumgarner said. "When I saw the shape he was in and how he felt when he first got here, I felt really good about it."