Giants call up Dubon, place Gennett on waivers

Rogers, Rickard also added; Gott goes on IL with elbow injury

August 28th, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- left his native Honduras at the age of 15 to pursue his dream of playing professional baseball. He moved in with a host family in Sacramento and quickly inherited their love for the Giants.

In 2010, Dubon attended his first Major League Baseball game here, watching Tim Lincecum pitch against the Padres from the center-field bleachers as the Giants made a late September push toward their first National League West title in seven years. He wore Brandon Crawford jerseys, cheered for Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner and was in attendance when Travis Ishikawa crushed his pennant-clinching home run off Michael Wacha in the 2014 National League Championship Series.

Dubon told his host mother that one day, he, too, would play at this waterfront ballpark. That dream is now a reality.

The Giants called up Dubon from Triple-A Sacramento amid a wider roster shuffle Tuesday, giving them their first look at the 25-year-old infield prospect. Right-hander Tyler Rogers and outfielder were also added to the Giants’ roster ahead of their series finale against the D-backs.

The flurry of moves resulted in a somewhat surprising cut, as the Giants decided to place veteran second baseman on unconditional release waivers. They cleared two other roster spots by optioning infielder to Triple-A Sacramento and placing reliever on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow sprain.

Dubon, who was acquired from the Brewers in exchange for Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black at the July 31 Trade Deadline, said he learned of his callup Tuesday morning while having breakfast with his host family. He initially didn’t pick up Triple-A manager Dave Brundage’s call, as he saw an Oregon area code and assumed it was a telemarketer.

Dubon made his Major League debut during a brief stint with the Brewers in July, going 0-for-2 in two plate appearances. He grew excited when he heard his name linked to the Giants in trade rumors, not only because they were his favorite team growing up, but also because their Triple-A affiliate is located in Sacramento, where he attended Capital Christian High School while living with his host family.

“I was happy when I heard the rumor,” Dubon said. “I was happy when I heard, ‘Oh, you might get traded.’ My host parents, every time I called them, they were like, ‘Did it happen yet?’

“When I got the news I was getting traded, it was something really special. I grew up watching all these guys. Bumgarner, Posey. Now to share the same clubhouse [with them] is pretty special.”

Dubon, who is ranked the Giants’ No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline, was batting .323 with an .876 OPS and four home runs in 25 games with Sacramento. Manager Bruce Bochy said Dubon will be deployed at shortstop and second base down the stretch and split time with Crawford and Donovan Solano. Dubon did not start Tuesday against D-backs right-hander Mike Leake, but Bochy said he will receive opportunities against both lefties and righties moving forward.

“We’d like to find time to give this kid a chance to show what he can do,” Bochy said. “He has really, really good instincts. He’s got really good tools, too. He’s a shortstop, but he can play second, so that’s always very valuable to have on the club.”

Like Dubon, Gennett was also acquired by the Giants at the Trade Deadline, but he struggled after coming over from the Reds, batting .234 with a .644 OPS over 67 plate appearances. Bochy said the timing of the move was partly a result of wanting to give Gennett an opportunity to land with another team before Sept. 1 so he could maintain his eligibility for the postseason.

Rogers, a 28-year-old sidearmer, received his first big league callup after logging a 2.52 ERA over seven Minor League seasons in the Giants’ organization. The former 10th-round Draft pick is the twin brother of Twins closer Taylor Rogers. Rogers has spent parts of the last four seasons at Triple-A Sacramento, where he posted a 4.21 ERA over 62 innings this year. Bochy said Rogers will likely be used primarily as a right-handed specialist.

“I’m excited for him,” Bochy said. “This is well deserved. You look at what he’s done not just this year, but even last year. He just keeps going out there and getting it done. You look at when he’s pitching, they’ve used him in high-leverage situations. This has got to be big for him. His twin is in the big leagues, now he gets called up. Sometimes these guys can get overlooked because they don’t throw 95 [mph]. He knows how to pitch, and he gets outs. I’m looking forward to watching him. I’m just so excited for this kid. I’m sure this is a moment he’s been waiting for.”

Gott departed his outing against the D-backs in the seventh inning after experiencing tightness in his right elbow and underwent an MRI Tuesday that revealed a Grade 1 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament and a strained flexor tendon. Bochy said Gott will be shut down for two weeks, though he’s optimistic the 27-year-old will be able to pitch again before the end of the season.

The Giants also got good news on right-hander Johnny Cueto, who felt good after his latest rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento Monday. Bochy said Cueto will likely make one more rehab start Sunday before rejoining the Giants in early September.