05/15/2013 7:46 PM ET
Posey draws lofty comparisons from Gibbons
By Chris Toman / Special to MLB.com
TORONTO -- Giants catcher Buster Posey has already accomplished so much over his short career that there isn't much left for him to prove. The 26-year-old has helped guide the Giants to a pair of World Series titles in three years, is the reigning National League MVP and was named the Rookie of the Year in his inaugural season in the big leagues in 2010.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons doesn't get to see Posey often, but his assessment of the backstop falls in line with the general consensus around baseball.
"He has it all going for him. He's the best all-around catcher in the game," Gibbons said.
"He handles a great pitching staff, he plays a big part of that and he hits cleanup on a world championship team."
Gibbons, a former catcher, says he has trouble finding a weakness in Posey's game. While Posey has a long way to go before he's thought of as an all-time great, Gibbons believes that's exactly the direction he is heading.
Toronto's skipper said two of the best catchers to ever play the game, both in the Hall of Fame, are who Posey reminds him of most.
"To be a good catcher and a hitter at the same time, you are looking at the guys like Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk," Gibbons said. "Those guys aren't just known as defensive specialists, they are big-time run producers.
"Those guys are rare. That's why when you get one, you keep them."
That's exactly what the Giants did, locking up Posey to a nine-year, $167 million contract extension right before the start of the season. Posey's contract is the longest ever for a catcher and he smashed the record for the richest deal ever signed by a player with less than three years of service time.
There was nothing more that the Giants needed to see from Posey, who put a 2011 season-ending injury behind him with a monster campaign last year, in which he set career highs in every meaningful offensive category.
When Giants manager Bruce Bochy was told about the Fisk comparison that Gibbons made, he had an almost identical response.
"You can look at a catcher like Fisk or Johnny Bench. Those are guys that not only caught but hit in the cleanup spot," Bochy said. "Those are a couple of names you can mention.
"They are similar in the fact that they all catch and hit in the middle of the order."
Hunter Pence, who joined the Giants at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last season, hasn't been a teammate of Posey's for long but said what the catcher has done over their short time together has almost left him speechless.
Pence, a seven-year veteran, said Posey is unlike most elite players he has ever witnessed.
"It's hard to really quantify how special he is. Through words you can't really explain it," Pence said. "He brings everything you could possibly ask for. He's a superstar who is as humble as anyone I have ever seen.
"It's a joy to play with him and I'm grateful to have him on our team."
Despite missing more than half of the 2011 season, Posey, a career .311 hitter, leads all catchers in wins above replacement since 2010, according to Fangraphs.com.
Casilla ready for action with new knee brace
TORONTO -- Reliever Santiago Casilla, who hasn't made an appearance since May 8, was available out of the bullpen for Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays, manager Bruce Bochy said.
Casilla has been sidelined with a cyst in his right knee, which has led to some discomfort and forced him to exit early from the last game he pitched against the Phillies. But the right-hander, who threw off a mound Tuesday, was able to avoid a trip to the disabled list and the Giants were able to get by for a week with a thinner bullpen.
"Casilla is good to go and the rest of them are fine," Bochy said about his roster.
The 32-year-old Casilla, who will pitch with a brace on his knee, has been a huge part of San Francisco's bullpen since joining the team in 2010. Casilla, who led the Giants with 73 appearances in 2012, entered Wednesday with a 2.21 ERA and 170 strikeouts over 187 1/3 career innings with the Giants.
In 19 appearances this season, Casilla is sporting a 2.12 ERA and 1.12 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) with six holds.
Giants have Cain skip traveling to Toronto
TORONTO -- Matt Cain did not make San Francisco's trip to Toronto for a two-game set with the Blue Jays, manager Bruce Bochy revealed Wednesday.
Bochy did not want to run the risk of unexpected travel delays out of Canada after Wednesday night's game to potentially disrupt his ace's routine for Thursday's start in Colorado. The Giants could have flown Cain out early, which is not exactly uncommon, but elected to leave him behind in San Francisco.
"What didn't make sense is to bring him up here for two days," Bochy said. "We told him to [stay behind]."
Cain threw a bullpen in San Francisco on Sunday and has been working out on his own to prepare for Thursday's start, which is the first of a four-game set against the division rival.
The 28-year-old Cain carries a 2-2 record and 5.04 ERA into the outing, but has won his last two games -- both quality starts -- allowing just three runs over 15 1/3 innings during that stretch.
Chris Toman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.