Buster Posey key to Giants' success

02/12/2013 10:03 AM ET
By Matt Hughes

Buster Posey is one of baseball's elite catchers who's critical to the Giants' hopes of repeating.(AP)
With Buster Posey in the lineup, the San Francisco Giants have won two of the last three World Series. Without him, they're not a playoff team.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the Giants are well aware of Posey's value to the team and the need to keep their best player healthy behind the plate.

"What he's done with the pitching staff and what he's done in the middle of the order, yeah, he can pull a lot of weight," said Giants general manager Brian Sabean. "Baseball is usually not like that, but he's close. There's no doubt he's our franchise player."

Posey missed the final four months of the 2011 season when his ankle was injured in a violent home plate collision with Scott Cousins, a season when the Giants missed the playoffs. Posey bounced back in 2012 with a league-best .336 average while totaling 24 homers and 103 RBIs en route to winning the National League MVP award. And the Giants won their second World Series in three years.

The rigors of playing behind home plate are not lost on Posey. He says he's healthy going into the 2013 season but will skip the World Baseball Classic to minimize his workload.

"I want to catch as long as I can," Posey said. "We did have a good balance last year, playing games at first and mixing in an off day here and there. The big kicker, as for any player, is remaining as productive as you possibly can."

The Giants begin defense of their World Series championship April 1 on the road against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

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