3 SF Giants players who will benefit from Opening Day expended rosters
Mauricio Dubón has quickly emerged as a popular Giants player among fans. He has the energy and personality that fans appreciate.
However, the 27-year-old infielder is out of options, but he should benefit from the expanded roster. Before spring training was reduced to three weeks, it seemed like Dubón would be competing against Thairo Estrada for a role in 2021. Estrada has the inside track, so many have wondered what the Giants will do with Dubón? For now, that decision may be delayed by a month.
The right-handed bat has struggled to find the consistency in the batter's box since coming over to the Giants in a midseason trade that sent Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019.
In a Giants uniform, Dubón has slashed .261/.308/.397 (90 OPS+) with just 13 home runs across three seasons. This includes a 6.1 percent walk rate against a 20.4 percent strikeout rate.
Giants coaches have asked Dubón to be more selective at the plate and he has shown flashes of it, especially after posting an 8.5 percent walk rate in 2020. However, that quality has not been consistently demonstrated.
To his credit, Dubón has accepted a different challenge in that the Giants asked him to learn how to play center field. He adjusted nicely in 2020 and became the Opening Day center field in 2021. He has also spent time at shortstop, second base, and third base.
Defensively, he fills a similar role as Estrada, but Estrada has the more recent track record of success. The coaching staff and front office have proven to be patient with certain players and Dubón seems like one of those players that they are motivated to see succeed.