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Why Giants think Mauricio Dubon had to ‘reset mentally’



Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Gabe Kapler acknowledged the Giants have asked a lot of Mauricio Dubon.

So for a couple days, they asked very little of him.

Dubon was back in Tuesday’s starting lineup after being held out for three games, in which he had a lone pinch-hit appearance. The middle infielder turned super utilityman, who has played second, shortstop and center field thus far, has struggled at the plate in the early going. While he has shown the athleticism necessary to play all over, there have been a few mental miscues in the field.

“I think he needed to reset mentally,” Kapler said over Zoom before Tuesday’s game at Coors Field. “There was no physical reason why Mauricio hasn’t been in the lineup. This was an opportunity for him to take a blow.”

Kapler said Dubon puts pressure on himself, which might help explain the .227/.261/.273 slashline through eight games and 23 plate appearances.

“He’s trying to establish himself as a major league player, which is still a work in progress,” Kapler said of his No. 8 hitter. “He’s learning to move around the diamond and play second, short, center field, move back and forth. That’s a challenge, and one that I think he’s very much up to, which he’s said repeatedly he’s up to.”

The Giants moved Dubon back to second base, where he’s comfortable, and are giving Wilmer Flores and Donovan Solano a day off against Colorado righty German Marquez.

A day after Johnny Cueto complained about overshifts that helped cost him and the Giants in the sixth inning, Kapler said he will always be open to talking with pitchers about the fielding behind them.

“I don’t think that we should be making any pitcher, veteran pitchers or otherwise, feel uncomfortable with the way we position our defenders,” Kapler said. “And I think for that very reason — something that Kai Correa and I have talked about extensively — we’re going to deliver to our pitchers in advance how we’re going to position defenders behind them. And if our pitchers have strong issues with it, we’re going to give them a voice in that process.”

Kapler said Jaylin Davis, recently demoted to the alternate camp in Sacramento, has been “struggling to find his rhythm and his consistency,” which has been “true of his at-bats and of his work.”

Kapler said farm director Kyle Haines and the hitting crew are working on Davis’ swing and confidence.

Kapler said Jarlin Garcia faced hitters for the first time Monday and “looked sharp.” The lefty was late arriving to camp because of an undisclosed medical reason.

Various injury updates from the Giants:

— Sam Coonrod (grade 1 right lat strain) will be checked at the end of the week. The Giants hope he will be able to start a throwing program by the weekend.

— Trevor Cahill (right index fingernail injury) threw a live batting practice session Monday in Sacramento, with a simulated game scheduled for the end of this week.

— Yolmer Sanchez (back spasms) is “ramping up” and hopes to get in simulated games by this weekend.

Kapler called Sanchez a “plus second baseman and a guy who can play all three infield positions and do so at a high level,” he said of the Gold Glover. “I don’t think there’s a considerable rush right now. I just don’t think it makes sense to rush any process, and with Yolmer’s back tightness, the No. 1 most important factor to consider is when he’s healthy.”