SAN FRANCISCO -- The deepest position on the roster this spring was second base, where the Giants had Silver Slugger Award winner Donovan Solano, free agent addition Tommy La Stella, and veteran Wilmer Flores. As they get into the final month, all of that depth has now been wiped away.
Flores went on the 10-day IL on Thursday morning with a strained left hamstring. Solano remains in New York after testing positive for COVID-19 last week. La Stella (oblique) was not available Wednesday and isn't in Thursday's lineup, although manager Gabe Kapler said he's very close to returning.
To fill the roster spot, the Giants called up Mauricio Dubon, a fixture last season and a member of their Opening Day lineup. Dubon had been in Triple-A since June 28 but was starting in center field Thursday, with Thairo Estrada at second base. It's likely that they make up the middle infield in one of the coming games as the Giants get Brandon Crawford a rest day.
Dubon had been passed on the depth chart by Estrada, but he played well in Sacramento, batting .333 with a .876 OPS and a nearly even walk-to-strikeout ratio. Dubon played second, third, shortstop and all three outfield spots in Triple-A and Kapler said the reports on his defense were strong.
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The Giants could get another infield boost soon when Evan Longoria returns. He had a cortisone shot earlier this week to help his contused right hand heal, but he has been taking swings and is getting closer.
Kapler needs all the healthy bodies he can get right now. Solano has been stuck in a hotel room for a week and will need some time to ramp back up when he's cleared to fly, and Flores is expected to miss a couple of weeks. He came out of Wednesday's loss with the injury, but Kapler said this was nothing new for a player who has filled a lot of holes this season.
"Wilmer has been wrestling with the hamstring issue most of the season and playing through so much discomfort," Kapler said.