SCOTTSDALE — After talking him up all offseason, the Giants told Steven Duggar to go out this spring and win a big league job. It’s still unclear if Duggar will be at Dodger Stadium on opening day, but he certainly is doing all he can to make the conversation a long one.
Duggar entered the day with a .286 average and 1.037 OPS and hit a homer in his second plate appearance against the A’s. The blast was the fourth of the spring for Duggar, who has played standout defense in center field and leads the team in innings played. Manager Bruce Bochy said he’s not surprised by Duggar’s developing power. Duggar came into camp with a reputation as a speedster with a good approach at the plate.
“I saw him take BP in Sacramento once and he put on a show there,” Bochy said. “It opened my eyes. I’m not surprised. It’s a quick bat.”
The Giants have seen their share of homers aided by the desert air and heat, but Duggar’s latest was a low screamer that easily cleared the wall in right. It came off a lefty, Ryan Buchter, too.
Duggar hit one homer in 229 at-bats in 2015, his first professional season. The next year, he had 10 homers, eight triples and 28 doubles while going through High-A San Jose and Double-A Richmond. He had six homers and 12 doubles in just 164 at-bats in the minors last year.
Bochy hasn't offered any hints regarding the outfield competition. Gregor Blanco appears to be a heavy favorite for one reserve job, and the Giants don't want Duggar to break in as a platoon player. He has a couple more weeks to show that he's ready for a full-time look.
--- A 6-5 win over the A’s ended up being quite dramatic. Sam Dyson buzzed Khris Davis after giving up a homer, and the two chirped at each other as Davis later walked to first. When Dyson came out of the game a couple minutes later, catcher Nick Hundley had words with players on the top step of the A’s dugout. Roberto Gomez later drilled an A’s prospect, and in retaliation, Orlando Calixte was plunked. Both benches were warned.
--- Chris Stratton had another good one, giving up a solo homer but otherwise keeping the A’s off the board in four innings. Stratton has a 2.25 ERA this spring. He can start looking for a rental in the Bay Area at this point. “He’s doing what he needs to do,” Bochy said.
--- Evan Longoria (ankle) could play as soon as Tuesday. Mark Melancon will be back on the mound Wednesday against the Mariners, Bochy said. Melancon has made just two appearances this spring as he works his way back from surgery.
--- The Giants made their first round of cuts. Here's the list.