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The difficult season of Dubi

Mauricio Dubón didn’t quite have the season he envisioned.

MLB: JUN 22 Giants at Angels Photo by John McCoy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The next name on our list of San Francisco Giants season reviews is right-handed hitting utility player Mauricio Dubón.

2021 review

74 games, 187 plate appearances, .240/.278/.377, 5 home runs, 76 OPS+, 0.4 rWAR, -0.1 fWAR

It was an exciting offseason for Mauricio Dubón fans: as Spring Training approached, reports swirled that the Giants were having Dubi take reps in center field, in addition to his regular spots in the middle of the infield. If he could be an asset as a defender at arguably the most important defensive position, it would make him that much more versatile as a player, and give his bat that much more wiggle room.

Truthfully, Dubón was done in by how well the Giants played. There was no room on the roster for a versatile player if that player wasn’t hitting. There was no room for a defensive asset — though it’s up for debate if Dubón was that — if that defensive asset wasn’t hitting.

And Dubón wasn’t hitting.

He struggled out of the gates, and with the Giants playing extremely platoon-heavy, he was barely getting any playing time for a stretch. Gabe Kapler said this was messing with Dubi’s rhythm — perhaps transparency, perhaps a little public-facing lie to protect his player — and the team optioned him to Sacramento where he could play everyday.

The results were very solid, but not “put me in coach, I’m ready to play” level, as he rocked a 130 wRC+. He got called up later in the season when Wilmer Flores was injured, but the stint didn’t last too long.

Thairo Estrada passed him on the depth chart. Kris Bryant was traded for and did the same. And along the way, the always lovable and good-natured Dubón became a symbol of how far the Giants had come: he would have been playing lots on a team performing as the Giants did in 2019 or 2020. But 2021? Not so much.

Role in 2022

Dubón has no options remaining, putting his future with the Giants in flux. With Donovan Solano’s final game with the Giants likely in the rear view mirror, it could be that Dubi takes that spot on the roster, and is in the dugout when Opening Day rolls around. The Giants will likely have a short leash with him if that’s the case, but if they’re high on his potential, that’s the way to keep him.

Otherwise, they’ll have no choice but the designate him for assignment, or trade him. He might pass through waivers, but the Giants certainly wouldn’t be confident about it.

Grade: C


How would you grade Mauricio Dubón’s season?

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