SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — In a camp that is all about competition, it is hard to pin Mauricio Dubon’s down.
He will be stacked up against Yolmer Sanchez and Donovan Solano at second. Brandon Crawford at short, for at least a possible platoon. Just about every outfielder, as Dubon is learning center — the same position that Billy Hamilton, Mike Yastrzemski, Joey Rickard, Jaylin Davis and Steven Duggar have occupied in camp, too.
Whoever is competing against Dubon, though, is losing.
The former second baseman whom the Giants are trying to turn into a do-everything option is 7-for-14 with a walk in the Cactus League, and while results are less important than process right now, they matter.
In Monday’s 8-1 win over the Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields, the 25-year-old first slapped a single (and got thrown out at second on a steal attempt). He then smashed a double down the third-base line, coming around to score on a Zach Green home run.
As he learns a new position, he would have an excuse if his bat were slow to come around. He doesn’t need one.
“He’s showing that he knows where the sweet spot [on the bat] is right now,” Gabe Kapler said after Dubon’s 2-for-3 day, improving on a camp in which he’s swatted a pair of home runs. “… He has great hand-eye coordination, and he’s making some real progress with our hitting group on getting the balls he hits hardest in the air right now. It’s a good sign.”
As was his glove, though the Giants already knew that would play. Dubon looked smooth in handling an Eduardo Escobar smash right at him in the first inning, picking the short hop and casually throwing to first. First baseman Wilmer Flores made a nice diving stop in that frame, too, which led to Kapler shouting out the work of infield coach Kai Correa.
The work of Dubon’s is being noticed, too.
“Dubi always brings it every day,” an appreciative Jeff Samardzija said. “He’s fun to watch.”
It took Green some time to get his bat in the lineup. It did not take him much time to make an impression.
The third baseman, who turns 26 this week, blasted an opposite-field homer in his fourth at-bat in the Cactus League, a no-doubter off Edwin Jackson.
Green, who debuted last season after being a highly touted Phillies prospect who hadn’t panned out, was not a September call-up because of hip surgery that ended his season. He looked healthy in first letting a close 2-2 pitch on the outer half of the plate go, then looked healthy in stroking out a down-the-middle fastball.
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“Green earned himself another pitch and obviously a pitch to drive,” Kapler said of the 2-2 take. “He’s flashed that power in the minor league level in the past. We want to give him an opportunity to show us that he can do it at this level as well.”
Tony Watson threw his second bullpen session of the spring, tossing 20-25 fastballs and changeups and coming out “feeling good,” Kapler said. His next step is another bullpen session, starting slowly after being held back because of shoulder tightness.
“We’ll see how it goes, but I believe he does,” Kapler said, asked if the lefty will have time to be ready for Opening Day.
Infielder Abiatal Avelino fouled a pitch off his leg and was down for several minutes as trainer Dave Groeschner checked on him. He somehow remained in for the at-bat, finishing the game 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
“A little concern once he went down. Once we went out there, we knew it was something he’d just have to deal with for that at-bat,” Kapler said. “He came out fine.
Hunter Pence will get his wish and DH Wednesday against the Dodgers.