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.

Bochy shows support for struggling Lincecum

MIAMI -- Manager Bruce Bochy had little to say about his chat with Tim Lincecum following the right-hander's latest subpar outing.

But it was plain that Bochy remains steadfastly confident in Lincecum, who owns a 2-5 record with a 6.41 ERA.

Lincecum induced only five swings and misses while throwing 97 pitches in 5 2/3 innings. But, Bochy said, "He threw the ball well. ... He has to keep working, which he's doing. We're all in with him and he needs to know that."

This has been a season of firsts for Lincecum, not all of them good. His loss to the Marlins was the first of his career against them in four starts. Lincecum's next start is next Wednesday at AT&T Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who scored five runs in 5 1/3 innings against him while defeating the ace on Opening Day.

Lincecum has gone five consecutive starts allowing at least three runs and without earning a victory. He endured similar streaks in his 2007 rookie season and in 2010.

"He's taking it hard, believe me," Bochy said.

Giants give Crawford rare day off

MIAMI -- As the Giants approach Thursday's scheduled off-day, which will end a streak of 20 consecutive games, manager Bruce Bochy opted Saturday to rest shortstop Brandon Crawford, one of the few regulars who has not received a break.

Crawford had started San Francisco's last 17 games and had appeared in 40 of 46 games entering Saturday.

"They've all had their days off," Bochy said, referring to front-line Giants such as Angel Pagan, Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey, who gets regular breaks when Barry Zito pitches.

Crawford has responded well to the steady activity, batting .302 (16-for-53) while hitting safely in 11 of his previous 13 games. That lifted his batting average from .204 to .240.

Emmanuel Burriss replaced Crawford at shortstop.