SAN FRANCISCO -- The news that he'd be starting the season in Triple-A Fresno couldn't have come as a surprise to Buster Posey. After all, the 2008 No. 1 Draft pick had a sharp Spring Training with the big club, but he has only about one full season of professional ball under his belt.

That doesn't mean he's satisfied with being one of nine roster cuts the Giants made Friday.

"Of course you want to begin the year with the big club," Posey said Friday afternoon before the Bay Bridge Series game at AT&T Park. "I think if you go around this clubhouse and ask every guy in there, they'll tell you the same thing.

"At the same time, I'm looking forward to playing every day in Fresno, getting some at-bats and catching nine innings every day."

And that is the whole reason Posey is starting the season in the Minors, leaving starter Bengie Molina and backup Eli Whiteside as the backstop corps. Posey batted .321 with a homer and nine RBIs in his first camp, leaving a strong impression in the six-week camp after a whirlwind first full season that saw him play at three levels, including the Majors.

"He's in a good place right now as far as baseball goes," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We want to continue that with him, and it'd be a challenge for him with playing time here."

At least now Posey has a full camp behind him of working alongside Molina and the rest of the catchers as he heads out to Fresno, although he'll stay with the team till Sunday to soak in a little more.

"Working with Bengie's always going to be a plus," Posey said. "He's a guy who's been around a long time and who's been one of the best a long time. Watching him and asking questions, it can only make you a better player."

Roster nearly set after nine demotions

SAN FRANCISCO -- The last big round of Giants roster cuts included a trio of relievers who are going down to the Minors, but not because they failed to show something in Spring Training.

Left-hander Alex Hinshaw and right-handers Kevin Pucetas and Henry Sosa all performed at a level that gave manager Bruce Bochy and his staff reason to believe they'll be seeing them in the Majors eventually.

Pucetas, 25, made four starts this spring along with three relief appearances and was second only to Matt Cain in innings pitched with 18 2/3, posting a 2.89 ERA and allowing opponents a .206 average.

"We want to keep him in the rotation down there [at Triple-A Fresno]," Bochy said. "He did have a great spring, very impressive, and I told him that."

Hinshaw, 27, and Sosa, 24, also put together impressive camps. Hinshaw allowed opponents a .185 average in 7 2/3 innings, and Sosa didn't allow a run in his 11 1/3 innings of work.

The three pitchers are all optioned to Fresno, along with catcher Buster Posey and infielders Ryan Rohlinger and Matt Downs. The Giants also reassigned non-roster invitees right-hander Felix Romero, infielder Brandon Crawford and catcher Steve Holm to the Minors.

With the cuts, the active roster is now down to 29 players, but that includes Freddy Sanchez (left shoulder surgery), Emmanuel Burriss (foot fracture) and Fred Lewis (ribs), who are expected to start the season on the disabled list.

That leaves the final spot likely to be a decision between relievers Guillermo Mota and Denny Bautista.