Santiago confident Posey can stay at catcher

Santiago confident Posey can stay at catcher

Santiago confident Posey can stay at catcher
MIAMI -- Benito Santiago, one of the most durable catchers of recent vintage, believes that Buster Posey can remain behind the plate throughout his Major League career as long as he remains in superior physical condition.

That's pretty much how Santiago, now 47, caught 1,917 games in 20 big league seasons with nine teams, including the Giants from 2001-03.

"He has to stay light in the upper body so his knees don't soften that much," said Santiago, a Miami-area resident who visited the Giants clubhouse Saturday. "If he stays in the good shape that he's in, he can play for a long time. If he gets kind of big and doesn't take care of himself, he's going to have to move to another position."

Winter workouts are the key to longevity, said Santiago, the 1987 National League Rookie of the Year with San Diego who played in 125 or more games in eight different seasons.

"In the offseason, you better work twice as hard as during the season," Santiago said.

During Santiago's long career, he made 25 appearances at first base and two in the outfield.

"It was not necessary," he said.

Santiago will be among the ex-Giants present when the organization honors the 2002 National League pennant-winning club during the weekend of June 29-July 1. He earned NL Championship Series Most Valuable Player honors for his performance in the series against the St. Louis Cardinals.