SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The position changed, and so did Mauricio Dubon. His pants stretched down to his cleats, high socks hidden, a look foreign to him.
“I’ve gotta wear my pants down because I’m an outfielder,” the Giants’ second baseman, shortstop and, beginning Wednesday at Scottsdale Stadium, center fielder said before the afternoon game against his pals from the Brewers.
Dubon was scheduled to take Billy Hamilton’s place later in the game, his first glimpse at becoming the super sub the Giants envision. Beyond the sartorial, there were more pressing concerns: How would he catch the ball?
Dubon had a “brand-new” outfielder glove that he had not yet broken in. Being able to close is an underrated ability of baseball mitts, one you don’t value until it’s gone.
“So if I drop something, you know why,” joked Dubon, who has shagged flyballs in spring but not in games, and whose outfield experience is five games in 2016 Arizona Fall League.
Dubon bounced around the clubhouse, asking Jaylin Davis about outfielder gloves, before disappearing to back rooms where the Giants have a machine that breaks gloves in. Gone are the under-the-mattress days.
He left the clubhouse clutching onto that glove, announcing, “I got it.” Good words to know for an outfielder.
Next to Dubon will be Chris Shaw, scheduled to sub in at left field for the first time this spring. Shaw has mostly been held to first base thus far in camp.
The starting lineup for Jeff Samardzija’s spring debut:
1. Brandon Crawford, SS
2. Evan Longoria, 3B
3. Brandon Belt, 1B
4. Buster Posey, C
5. Jaylin Davis, LF
6. Billy Hamilton, CF
7. Steven Duggar, RF
8. Abiatal Avelino, 2B
9. Drew Robinson, DH