WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged Friday that Buster Posey can be a different hitter when he gets to play first base -- something the numbers back up.

Posey is hitting .265 with a .425 slugging percentage in 332 at-bats as a catcher this season. He is hitting .385 and slugging .526 in 78 at-bats as a first baseman. He has had similar splits in past years.

Posey was off Wednesday and got a full day of treatment for hip tightness that has bothered him on and off over the years. He came back Thursday with four hits, including two doubles and a homer, taking the kinds of swings that put an MVP award on his mantle in 2012.

"It does affect him," Bochy said. "You can tell with the way he swings the bat. I do think it's easier on the body playing first base. It takes you away from the mental grind of catching every day. It's a a little bit easier and it does make sense if a guy is comfortable at first and has no stress at first, that he should hit a little bit more."

The next question was obvious: With Andrew Susac showing he's a capable big league catcher and Hector Sanchez also in the wings, have the Giants talked about moving Posey to a different position?


Advertisement

"Right now, no," Bochy said. "Down the road, sure, that's something we will talk about. It could lighten the load on Buster. Whether at some point down the road he will get out from behind the plate, I can't answer that. Right now it's not discussed. But I will say it's nice to have options. It's a beautiful thing to have that option and to put someone down there, whether it's Susac or Sanchez, who can handle the staff."

Bochy said that if Posey does eventually move, it would be to first base, not third. He thinks Posey has the arm and hands to handle the hot corner, but there are plays that are much more difficult on that side of the diamond. It would take "a lot of work" to get Posey comfortable with slow rollers and other such plays at third base, Bochy said.

That leads to other decisions, of course. The Giants have a young, cost-effective first baseman in Brandon Belt, but he could play the outfield. He has in the past and it was a possibility when the Giants made a run at Jose Abreu last offseason.

They may not have a third baseman if Pablo Sandoval moves on in free agency, which would obviously be a big deal. Chess pieces would have to be moved around. It's a discussion to be had eventually. When? Bochy isn't sure, but he has made it clear over the years that he'll be ready, whenever it happens.