Giants plan to take cautious tact with Buster Posey, Evan Longoria this week

Face of the franchise Buster Posey won’t be catching in any spring training games in the immediate future, according to The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly.

Posey is slated to see his first action behind the plate on March 7 — when the San Francisco Giants host the San Diego Padres in Mesa, Ariz. — because the five-time All-Star’s left ankle “still barks” when he swings the bat.

Baggarly reported that the Giants are “slow playing” Posey, but the news is slightly concerning considering Posey’s ongoing issue with his ankle and his attendant absence of power. Last year, Posey tallied 12 home runs — just two of which came after the All-Star break. Posey has appeared in one exhibition game, going 1-for-2 with a double.

Evan Longoria is on a similar spring track, not slated to start at third base until the same day. Hunter Pence (flu) is aiming to rejoin the lineup on Saturday when the Giants visit the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear.

Stratton states his case in lopsided loss to Los Angeles Angels. A day after Ty Blach spun three scoreless innings, Chris Stratton did the same on Thursday afternoon against the Angels. The sharp outing for the 27-year-old means the next run that Stratton allows this spring will be his first. Stratton blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers across a pair of innings in his first start on Feb. 24. Small sample size alert: But Stratton, who along with Blach is one of the favorites for one of the final rotation spots, now has five strikeouts in five innings.

Tim Lincecum remains absent from the Texas Rangers’ camp. A couple of days after the ex-Giants right-hander reportedly inked a deal with the American League club, there’s still no word on when he’ll join his new employer.

According to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News, the organization has yet to announce whether the two-time Cy Young Award winner has passed his physical.

Grant also passed on the news that Lincecum is grieving the recent death of his older brother Sean.

His new manager, Jeff Banister, did have high praise for the three-time World Series winner, who will assume a bullpen role with the Rangers.

“His nickname was ‘The Freak,’ and he was really, really good,” Banister said. “You didn’t see anybody like this.”

Shoulder tightness continues to plague Oakland A’s right-hander Ryan Dull, while a pair of cornerstones are on the mend. Dull still has no timeline for returning to the mound, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The reliever, who’s made a lone Cactus League appearance (surrendering a pair of runs in one inning on Feb. 23) hasn’t picked up a baseball in five days and there’s no plan for when he will.

“Throwing just got to the point where it didn’t feel right, and it wouldn’t go away,” Dull said. “It’s just a matter of loosening everything back up so it feels normal again, doing a bunch of mobility things and strengthening.”

Dull has not undergone an MRI because he’s not dealing with pain, but rather limited range of motion.

The rest of the news out of the training room was more positive, as manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Matt Chapman (sore right hand) is on track to take batting practice on Saturday and play in a game shortly after that.

Sean Manaea, who missed his Tuesday start with back tightness, will make his spring debut on March 6.

Karl Buscheck

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