SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey underwent hip surgery on Monday, a procedure that brings an end to his 2018 season. And while the surgery also raises questions about Posey’s ability to contribute in 2019, Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed has little doubt Posey will be just fine.
Two years ago this week, Ahmed underwent major surgery on his hip. Like Posey, Ahmed’s procedure was performed by Colorado-based surgeon Dr. Marc Philippon. Ahmed was playing in spring training games within six months.
“(Posey is) not going to have any issue, I don’t think, getting back for next year,” Ahmed said, “and coming back healthier and stronger than he’s ever been.”
The Giants announced Monday that Posey’s surgery was to “address a hip impingement and repair a torn labrum.” Ahmed’s surgery was more extensive – he needed a microfracture procedure to stimulate cartilage growth – and he still made it back on the front end of the recovery timetable.
“I feel great,” Ahmed said. “There’s no issue in the joint anymore. The labrum is repaired. I feel like I’ve had that cartilage grow back so I have more cushion in my joint. I feel explosive again, which I didn’t feel like I was before the surgery.”
He said he sees no reason why Posey couldn’t return to catching, particularly if he attacks the rehab process in an aggressive but measured way. Ahmed said that having doctors inform him that not everyone makes it back from microfracture surgery helped.
“Not that I wasn’t going to take it seriously, but it made me take it seriously and trust the process of the rehab and the trainers,” Ahmed said. “I had time. It was just spring training. And if I wasn’t ready, it helped me make sure I didn’t push through it.”
Ahmed’s procedure raised questions about his ability to remain a dominant defender at shortstop, particularly as it related to his range. Those questions are long since in the past. This season, Ahmed appears to be a strong candidate for a Gold Glove award; he leads all major league shortstops in defensive runs saved with 18, according to FanGraphs.
Double-A Jackson right-hander Yoan Lopez might not be on the Diamondbacks’ 40-man roster, but he is garnering consideration internally for a September call-up.
Lopez is having a strong season in the Southern League. In 59 2/3 innings in relief, he has posted a 3.02 ERA while racking up 83 strikeouts.
Working in his favor is the fact that he’s in his fourth professional season and will have to be added to the 40-man anyway this winter in advance of the Rule 5 draft.
“He would give them a different look in the bullpen,” a scout familiar with Lopez said, “because he’s got power stuff, and he’s nasty when he’s on.”
Lopez has a dominant fastball – he hit 97 mph in his appearance in the Futures Game last month – and a wipeout slider.
Manager Torey Lovullo said center fielder A.J. Pollock and second baseman Ketel Marte were getting normal days off on Monday night. “This is going to be a really important stretch of baseball,” Lovullo said, “and, nothing against the Giants, I want to make sure that we have our guys ready, healthy and strong when we march down to LA.”
*Lovullo said outfielder Jarrod Dyson ran the bases on Monday, the first time he’d done so since going down in July with a strained right groin. Lovullo said Dyson has not yet gotten back to making explosive breaks on balls in the outfield, but that he could do so later this week.
*Triple-A Reno infielder Ildemaro Vargas and first baseman/third baseman Kevin Cron were named to the All-Pacific Coast League team on Monday. Vargas is hitting .311/.348/.442; he had a 35-game hit streak from June 24 through Aug. 11. Cron owns a .312/.371/.571 slash line with 22 homers. He has hit .351 with 14 homers since June 21.
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.