SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Mauricio Dubon’s first game into the center-field experiment had some of everything — except, you know, many plays to make in center.
He broke in a new glove, only to lose it and later find it again. He swiped third base on a delayed steal, the latest example of aggression at Giants camp. He was mostly untested in center, though was slightly late on a pickle play against a team he talked “crap” with throughout.
The former Brewer very much wanted to be in this spring training game against Milwaukee, and an ostensible center fielder who didn’t enter until the fifth inning had a busy Wednesday.
The day began with Dubon trying out a new outfielder mitt, which wasn’t broken in, leading him to try various remedies in a quest for flexibility with the glove. He said he spent five hours working on it, then let the team’s machine do the work for him.
Only to then lose it during the game.
“Next thing you know I’m grabbing someone else’s,” said Dubon, who had to borrow Jamie Westbrook’s. Dubon, used to just being responsible for one glove, later found it, but Westbrook’s treated him well.
The lone minor hiccup in the field came in the ninth, when Milwaukee’s Lucas Erceg singled and then got in a rundown between first and second — only to slide in safely at second, where no one was covering. Dubon was a bit slow sprinting to the infield, which Gabe Kapler acknowledged.
Still, the Giants liked what they saw.
“He looked like an athlete out there, like he could think quickly on his feet,” Kapler said after the 3-3 tie at Scottsdale Stadium. “… Nothing but good came out of today for Dubon in center field.”
The Giants liked what they saw, too, from Dubon at the plate and on the basepaths. In each at-bat against the team that dealt him for Drew Pomeranz, he said he was taking “not friendly” swings, a friendly rivalry now intact. Milwaukee field coordinator Charlie Greene was shouting at him from the dugout, and Dubon had good-spirited trash talk for seemingly everyone on the Brewers.
After his seventh-inning walk, Dubon noticed Brewers catcher Mario Feliciano was taking his time in returning throws to the pitcher.
“I knew if I got to second, I knew I had a shot because he kept lobbing the ball,” said Dubon, who took off for third on the return throw and slid in safely.
In a camp all about positional flexibility and hustle, Dubon had a nice day.
It doesn’t sound as if the Giants will begin preparing either Buster Posey or Joey Bart for first base.
Asked if either would take reps at first in camp, Kapler said: “I don’t anticipate you seeing that anytime soon. If that comes up at all, it’s not going to come in the near future.”
Righty Tyler Cyr entered with the potential go-ahead runs on second and third with one in the ninth.
The 26-year-old, still awaiting his MLB debut, struck out Chad Spanberger and Luis Castro, turning a to-be loss into a tie.
“That’s a tough spot to come into,” Kapler said. “… Really good performance by him.”