9/6/2013 2:32 A.M. ET
Monell takes inspiration from Kaepernick
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Monell doesn't wear a San Francisco 49ers jersey emblazoned with No. 7, but he's as big a believer in Colin Kaepernick as anybody.
Part of the Giants' contingent of September callups, Monell intensified his approach to baseball after hearing a remark made by Kaepernick, the 49ers' richly talented quarterback, during an interview before Super Bowl XLVII.
"He said, 'Pressure is a lack of preparation,'" the rookie catcher recalled Thursday. "It just kind of sank home with me, as far as being able to prepare yourself for every obstacle that you face on a given day. That's why we take batting practice and do all those drills, to play baseball at the highest level."
Monell's first few days with the Giants have confirmed Kaepernick's bromide. He has seen how diligently and steadily Major Leaguers perform pregame routines, which leads to positive results once the first pitch is thrown.
"It seems like the game is so clean," said Monell, 27. "It just all comes together."
Monell embraced the need to prepare this year with Triple-A Fresno as he established personal bests in batting average (.275), home runs (20) and doubles (27, equaling his 2012 total with Double-A Richmond).
"I set some goals, as far as making sure my focus is there," Monell said. "Nobody's perfect, but [I tried] to perfect my craft, showcase my skills on a given night and help the team win. When you play to win, I feel like all your talents come out."
Posey has small fracture in ring finger
SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey has a slight fracture on the tip of his right ring finger, but the Giants catcher expressed confidence Thursday that he'll soon return to the lineup.
"From what I'm hearing from trainers and doctors, it's something that hopefully in a couple of days, once it calms down, I'll be able to play through it," Posey said after the Giants' 4-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
X-rays taken of Posey's finger Thursday confirmed the existence of the fracture, which he sustained during Tuesday night's game at San Diego. Later Thursday, Posey met with the Giants' medical and athletic training staff, including head team orthopedist Ken Akizuki, to discuss the extent of the injury and treatment plans. Posey applied a small plastic bag filled with ice to his finger as he addressed reporters.
"Dr. Akizuki kept saying that it's not displaced or anything, so it'll just correct itself," said Posey, the National League's reigning Most Valuable Player who's batting a team-high .309 with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs in 130 games.
Posey, 26, couldn't estimate how much the injury would hamper him.
"I think throwing will be all right," he said. "I haven't really grabbed a bat yet. So I'll probably test it a little bit [Friday] and see how it feels."
However, Posey indicated that he might be able to cope with the discomfort more easily with an injured right finger, rather than the left.
"I think you can get away a little bit more without using that finger on the bat as much," said Posey, a right-handed batter. "I don't think you can really do that on the bottom hand."
With Posey sidelined, Hector Sanchez caught his second straight complete game Thursday. The Giants also have September callup Johnny Monell to provide catching depth.
In another injury-related development, left-hander Jeremy Affeldt (groin) performed pitchers' fielding practice drills with no complications. Friday, Affeldt is scheduled to throw live batting practice for the second time since being sidelined. Bochy said Affeldt likely will be activated from the disabled list if he passes that test.
Also, right-hander Chad Gaudin (carpal tunnel syndrome) threw on flat ground and on a bullpen mound. Declining to cite a specific time frame for Gaudin's possible return, Bochy noted that returning the 11-year veteran to a starting role could be difficult at this late juncture of the season, since scant time remains for him to build his stamina. Gaudin thus might end the season as he began it: in the bullpen.
Giants not planning to give Zito another start
SAN FRANCISCO -- While reiterating his respect for Barry Zito, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday that no plans have been made to assign the left-hander a ceremonial final start at AT&T Park as a gesture of appreciation.
"It's not something we've talked about," Bochy said, though he didn't rule out the possibility that Zito could land a spot start if injuries or other circumstances created a vacancy in the rotation.
Zito's seven-year, $126 million contract ends this season. The Giants are unlikely to pick up the $18 million option for 2014, given Zito's 4-11 record and 5.91 ERA. He would instead receive a $7 million buyout.
The notion of honoring Zito, who's 62-80 with a 4.37 ERA in 206 appearances for the Giants, might seem far-fetched. But he has endeared himself to the community by remaining active in numerous charitable causes. Also, his lone winning season with the Giants, 2012, helped them win the World Series. The Giants won his final 11 regular-season outings, helping him post a 15-8 record. Moreover, he won two more games in the postseason, including his epic Game 5 performance in the National League Championship Series at St. Louis. There, he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings to prolong the Giants' surge to the title.
Zito has maintained a gentlemanly demeanor through his ups and downs, which was again evident Thursday. Bochy said Zito came to his office to thank him for the second-chance stint of three starts he received after being sent to the bullpen in early August.
"Barry has been such a standup guy," Bochy said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.