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Posey on verge of call-up?

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

FRESNO, Calif. -- The Herald's daily "Posey Watch," might soon be taken up a notch.

Posey, the former Lee County and Florida State baseball star who was selected No. 5 overall in the 2008 MLB Draft by San Francisco, is rumored to be in line for a call-up from the Giants' Triple-A team in Fresno sooner than expected, according to multiple reports Tuesday afternoon.

The San Francisco Chronicle first reported Tuesday that, according to a Giants official, Posey's name was being tossed around as viable option to help the team's suddenly slumping offense. After all, starting catcher Bengie Molina has three hits in his last 28 at-bats with no extra-base hits, while Posey, also a catcher who has played some first base this season, is batting .361 with three doubles, a triple, a HR and 11 RBI -- albeit in Triple-A.

Howard Schulman, the Chronicle's sports writer who first reported the story, wrote Tuesday, "A leading theory posits the Giants will keep Buster Posey in the minors until June to ensure he does not gain an extra year of arbitration eligibility, but team officials have discussed bringing him up sooner, The Chronicle has learned. One team official said fans likely will not see Posey in San Francisco this weekend or even in Florida next week. However, the brass is keeping close tabs on Posey as the Giants' offense regresses."

After starting out the season 6-2 and looking like they would once again be a National League contender, the Giants leveled off a bit -- then hit a slump, losing five of their next eight, including four in a row at one point during which they produced only five total runs in that span of defeats.

Posey's Fresno Grizzlies team, meanwhile, is 12-7 overall and No. 1 in the Pacific Coast League standings through 19 games. Posey, who leads the team in almost every offensive category, including batting average, had another stellar game Tuesday, going 2-for-4, including a double, with two RBI in Fresno's 8-2 romp against the Portland Beavers. The Grizzlies started the season a dismal 2-5, but have won eight of their last nine games to vault into the PCL's top spot.

The only knock against Posey, however, is simple: In 72 at-bats, the Giants had hoped they would see more doubles, triples and home runs, rather than singles.

Schulman writes: "One consideration weighs against a quick call-up. Though Posey is hitting (.361) in the offense-friendly Pacific Coast League, reports on the ground say he is not driving the ball."

Then again, neither is anyone on the Giants' current big-league roster.

Sluggers Aubrey Huff (.239), Edger Renteria (.288) and Mark DeRosa (.241) have all struggled recently for San Francisco, while Molina (.308) continues to be mired in a slump.

Posey's Grizzlies have their first day off today since the season began, while the Giants (12-8, tied for second in NL West standings with San Diego) close out a series with the Phillies today.