Mauricio Dubon

Giants GM Scott Harris explains how he envisions outfield this season

Giants GM Scott Harris explains how he envisions outfield this season

Every great athlete, every great coach and every great team wants consistency from their performance every game. That doesn't mean there has to be consistency in the lineup. 

Giants manager Gabe Kapler might not go more than two or three games of trotting out the same lineup when baseball eventually returns. Kapler is a master at wanting to get the best out of his players and the nine men he puts on the field. The skipper will platoon players, no matter how many years they have in the big leagues. 

General manager Scott Harris and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi were tasked with signing players for Kapler to deploy. One of the biggest questions for the manager is how he will use a handful of outfielders. 

Harris believes the Giants' roster sets up nicely for Kapler to get the best out of his guys. 

"We're trying to give Gabe the ability to match up and a great example of that is left field," Harris said Thursday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show. "Hunter Pence and Alex Dickerson really complement each other and we can deploy them in the right situation and come to the plate with favorable matchups and hopefully see some success out of it.

"We're gonna be able to throw out some very different lineups against left-handed pitching and right-handed pitching." 

Listen and subscribe to the Giants Insider Podcast:

Pence, a right-handed hitter crushes left-handed pitching. The four-time All-Star hit .327 with eight homers against lefties last year with the Texas Rangers. Dickerson, a left-handed hitter, knocked all six of his dingers against right-handed pitchers last year. 

Kapler also will have to figure out how and when to use players like Mike Yastrzemski, Mauricio Dubon, Jaylin Davis, Austin Slater and Bill Hamilton. Davis often gets lost in the conversation after a slow start this spring and struggling after his MLB debut last season. The powerful right-handed bat hit 35 (!) long balls last season and Harris made it clear the Giants believe in him. 

"We're really excited about him and think he has a really bright future," Harris said. 

[RELATED: What really impressed Giants GM Harris in spring training]

Kapler and the Giants have plenty of questions to be answered this season -- if a season is played -- but his lineup likely will have a different answer every few games.

Why Mauricio Dubon envisions 'different vibe' upon Giants' return

Why Mauricio Dubon envisions 'different vibe' upon Giants' return

When Willie Mays arrived at Scottsdale Stadium last month, Mauricio Dubon walked over to say hello. Mays remembered Dubon from a meeting late last season, and he greeted him with, "It's the kid that smiles."

Dubon always has had an appreciation for playing the game and it shows every time he takes the field. He is the kid that smiles, and that got ramped up two years ago when baseball was taken away for the first time. 

Dubon missed most of the 2018 season after tearing his ACL in May. He said he had a greater appreciation for his career when he returned, and he thinks fans will see that from players across the big leagues when the coronavirus pandemic hiatus ends. 

"It's going to have a different vibe," Dubon said on the latest episode of The Giants Insider Podcast. "Players are going to be more appreciative knowing that, hey, one day this can be taken away. That's kind of what happened to me. I never take games for granted, but I was always -- not complaining, but I was always like, 'Oh, we're playing 11 a.m. games (in the minors).'

"And the next thing you know, I wish every game of the season was 11 a.m."

Dubon was Milwaukee's No. 10 prospect entering the 2018 season and got off to such a quick start that a promotion to the big leagues looked imminent. He hit .343 in his first 27 games with a slugging percentage of .574 and four homers.

Dubon had a 23-game hitting streak when he hurt his left knee during a rundown on May 5. His season was over. Dubon said he has been reminding family members during this current shutdown that he has had a similar experience. The Giants had an off day when MLB suspended spring training and players were soon told to head home indefinitely. 

[RELATED: How Dubon stays ready after missing Opening Day]

"I'm trying to emulate those feelings, everything is going to be fine," Dubon said. "Everything is going to work out. It's not going to stop. There's more to life than baseball, so we're just going to take it day to day."

For more from Dubon on what the last few weeks have been like, how he's communicating with teammates and coaches, his rookie season and learning to play the outfield, you can listen to The Giants Insider Podcast here or download it on iTunes here.

Giants' Mauricio Dubon shares hilarious story of meeting Hunter Pence

Giants' Mauricio Dubon shares hilarious story of meeting Hunter Pence

Mauricio Dubon is living the dream of every young Giants fan right now. 

Dubon moved to Sacramento when he was 15 years old to live with a host family -- leaving his family in Honduras -- in order chase his dreams of playing baseball. He attended his first Giants game as a teenager in 2010, sitting in the center field bleachers as Tim Lincecum pitched the Giants closer to a division title. As a young shortstop he idolized Brandon Crawford, and now is his teammate and will be Crawford's double-play partner on many occasions this season. 

When Dubon first made his Giants debut in late August after being acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, he certainly could feel his fandom come alive. The same can be said for when the team brought Hunter Pence back this offseason.

"The first time I saw Hunter at FanFest, I asked for a picture, actually," Dubon said on the latest episode of The Giants Insider Podcast. "I asked him for a picture, yeah. 2014, with the whole speech and everything -- as a fan, you kind of get excited. As a player, you get even more excited." 

Dubon said he had to get away from the Giants' veteran players last year when guys like Tim Lincecum, Angel Pagan and many others came back for Bruce Bochy's final game as San Francisco's manager. The young infielder simply couldn't help but get giddy seeing his childhood heroes. Dubon even used Pagan's salute celebration in high school. 

Now with Pence in the fold and Pablo Sandoval returning to San Francisco, Dubon doesn't see why the Giants couldn't shock the world again once the season returns amid baseball's suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: How Dubon is staying ready after missing first Opening Day]

"I keep telling people that when were we favorites -- I say "we" as a fan -- when were we favorites to win a World Series in '10, '12 and '14? Never," Dubon said. "So why's it gonna change right now?

"We have the same veterans. Same hunger, probably even more. We got guys that are willing to do anything to win a game. I think we have a pretty good chance of [winning] the whole thing." 

Dubon is expected to be manager Gabe Kapler's do-it-all utility man up in the middle at second base, shortstop and center field this season to keep his athleticism in the lineup. And while his fandom always will live within him, he could be a major key to the Giants brining their next World Series trophy back to San Francisco.