Giants rookie Mauricio Dubon continues to make case for 2020 starting job


Giants rookie Mauricio Dubon continues to make case for 2020 starting job

SAN FRANCISCO -- After Sunday's game, Bruce Bochy never again will be responsible for putting together a Giants lineup. But you can tell he already has a pretty good idea of who should be playing second base next season. 

Bochy has heaped praise upon Mauricio Dubon since the 25-year-old first arrived a month ago, and he again was complimentary Thursday afternoon. Dubon had three hits, including a big solo homer, in an 8-3 win over the Rockies at Oracle Park. 

"Next year, I can't tell you what's going to happen, but I think you look at what he's done and he's made a lot of noise here," Bochy said. "This kid, whether I put him at second or short, wherever I put him in the order, he just goes out and plays. Nothing affects him."

Not even a brutal collision could slow Dubon's progress. He was run over by Tony Wolters on Wednesday night while fielding a grounder and there initially were concerns about his head or neck. But Dubon said he simply got the wind knocked out of him. When a reporter told Dubon that it looked like he might be done, he smiled. 

"I thought I was done, too," Dubon said. "But nah, I ended up getting my wind back and came here and got ready for the game."

Dubon's homer was his fourth and the big day raised his slash line to .280/.316/.462. But Giants officials and coaches are looking beyond the numbers. 

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Earlier Thursday, third base coach Ron Wotus stood in the clubhouse and talked about how much he has enjoyed working with Dubon this month. Wotus is in charge of the infielders and he made an appointment to work with Dubon on throwing mechanics Wednesday afternoon. When the Giants played 16 innings Tuesday night, Wotus decided to push their work to another day, but not before Dubon tried to convince him to get out on the field anyway. 

"I'm just trying to get better every day and get better every day," Dubon said. "There's room for improvement."

Farhan Zaidi says Giants keeping options open in pursuit of new closer


Farhan Zaidi says Giants keeping options open in pursuit of new closer

The Giants lost an All-Star early in free agency when closer Will Smith signed with his hometown Atlanta Braves last week.

Smith's departure left a clear void in San Francisco's bullpen, as he tied for fifth in MLB with a career-high 31 saves in 2019. Replacing Smith is a clear priority for Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, but he told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on Tuesday that he is in no rush to name a new closer.

"We've got some time to figure that out," Zaidi said on "The TK Show" podcast. "I don't think we need to decide that before Thanksgiving here, but one of the benefits for us of having made some of the trades we made at the deadline is it gave us the opportunity to see some of the younger relievers in our organization. Guys like Tyler Rogers, Jandel Gustave and Sam Coonrod. [These are guys] that could work their way into the picture and work their way into late-inning [situations] in 2020."

Rogers, Gustave and Coonrod were bright spots as rookies last season. None of the trio pitched more than 30 innings, but each showed potential pitching out of the bullpen in August and September. Rogers pitched the fewest innings of the three (17 2/3), but was worth nearly a win above replacement in his appearances, according to Baseball Reference's metrics.

[RELATED: Former Giants hitting coach Powell takes job in Japan]

No matter which of the three emerges, the Giants are going to have a different look in the late innings next season. That could include a free-agent acquisition as well, according to Zaidi.

"Our closer may be in the organization right now," Zaidi continued. "We're going to continue to shop around and see what options are out there, but we at least like the depth that we have in our group of relievers."

Former Giants hitting coach Alonzo Powell takes new job in Japan

Former Giants hitting coach Alonzo Powell takes new job in Japan

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Farhan Zaidi and the rest of the front office started the search for a new manager, the coaching staff was given time to look for new jobs. Hitting coach Alonso Powell ended up across the ocean, but his new job will still be a familiar one. 

Powell will join the staff of the Chunichi Dragons, a Japanese team based in Nagoya. He played for the Dragons for six seasons, hitting .355 in one of them and won three straight batting titles while starring in Nagoya from 1992-97. Powell is reportedly already working with the team:

The Giants had kept quiet about Powell's status, but they are expected to have nearly a completely new staff under Gabe Kapler, who was hired last week. Ron Wotus will return as third base coach, but he was the only holdover to attend Kapler's press conference. 

Bullpen coach Matt Herges has already joined the Arizona Diamondbacks as pitching coach and former bench coach Hensley Meulens has been offered a job by the Marlins. Meulens was also thought to be a candidate for the Mets bench coach job, and he has not officially been announced as a staff member for the Marlins. It's unclear where pitching coach Curt Young, assistant hitting coach Rick Schu, and first base coach Jose Alguacil currently stand.

[RELATED: Harris details meaningful trip to Wrigley bleachers

Powell, a Bay Area native, came to the Giants after the 2017 season with the task of getting an aging lineup to hit for more power. There were success stories, and Powell was popular within the organization, but he was unable to squeeze much more out of a veteran group. Powell came from Houston and brought some new methods to the Giants, and they're expected to go even further in that direction. The addition of Kapler, along with former Cubs executive Scott Harris, indicates the Giants will dive even deeper into analytics.