A handful of SF Giants players are out of options, meaning that they will have to make the Opening Day roster or be exposed to waivers. Mauricio Dubón is one of the many players in camp who is making a strong final impression before the season begins.
SF Giants utility infielder's strong camp is an intriguing development
The right-handed bat is coming off of a down season in which he slashed .240/.278/.377 (76 OPS+) with five home runs, 20 runs scored, and 22 RBI in 187 plate appearances. It appeared as if Thairo Estrada had supplanted Dubón on the depth chart as he posted an .813 OPS in 132 plate appearances down the stretch last season.
Estrada likely remains ahead of Dubón on the depth chart, but both will get a chance to begin the season with the club as rosters have expanded to 28 in the first month of the season.
The Giants originally acquired Dubón at the 2019 trade deadline from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black. This is a move that benefitted both teams, and San Francisco is hoping that it will continue to realize those benefits in 2022.
Since Dubón is out of options, he needed to perform well this spring to make the team. To his credit, he has done just that as he has registered a .304/.385/.739 with two home runs, seven runs scored, and five RBI in 23 at-bats. I am adding the general disclaimer that spring training stats need to be looked at with a grain of salt.
With that being said, the 27-year-old middle infielder's intriguing camp has added an interesting wrinkle to the roster. Perhaps, they can carry both Dubón and Estrada in 2022.
The Giants will need to see if Estrada's strong production in 2021 can carry over into this upcoming season, whereas Dubón might be able to establish himself as a serviceable platoon hitter. Dubón has posted a .798 OPS in his career against left-handed pitching, which is good enough to generate value, especially given that he can play all around the field.
That last detail is actually applicable to both players as each has experience all around the diamond and in the outfield. The idea of moving Dubón and Estrada around the field as the situation changes is a dynamic that would give Giants manager added flexibility.
This might be looking too far down the road as Dubón will have a relatively small window to prove that he can handle major league pitching. He came into camp needing to perform and he has. That will need to continue when the season begins.