LOS ANGELES -- Though Buster Posey remains about as cool as they come among ballplayers, manager Bruce Bochy believes that the Giants star feels additional pressure to excel when he bats cleanup, which happens to be most of the time. "I think sometimes Buster tries to put a little added load on himself," Bochy said before Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. "But he's having a nice year. I'm surprised where he is with the bat, with all the time he has missed." Bochy said that given Posey's production, the issue is so insignificant that he has not raised it with him.
Posey entered Tuesday having hit fourth in all 24 of his starts and in each at-bat but two. Most top cleanup hitters have exceeded the four home runs and 11 RBIs Posey has accumulated. But his .308 batting average and .858 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) from the fourth spot are above average. Those figures also compare favorably with Posey's statistics in 2010, when he batted cleanup in 54 games. He hit .274 with 10 homers, 33 RBIs, a .342 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging average in that role. Bochy acknowleged that Posey, who has recovered from the left leg injuries that ended his 2011 season on May 25, has played more than anticipated. That's largely due to Hector Sanchez's emergence at catcher and Posey's versatility, which enables him to move from behind the plate to first base.