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Duggar's hot bat hard for Giants to ignore

March 12, 2018

MESA, Ariz. -- The fate of a top prospect heading into Spring Training depends on a range of factors, from who's ahead of him on the depth chart, to how his team envisions him contributing in the future and how he performs during his time in big league camp.Where outfielder

MESA, Ariz. -- The fate of a top prospect heading into Spring Training depends on a range of factors, from who's ahead of him on the depth chart, to how his team envisions him contributing in the future and how he performs during his time in big league camp.
Where outfielder Steven Duggar lands when camp breaks in a couple of weeks is still to be decided, but even if he does not make that final cut, he's given the Giants plenty to ponder as they inch toward Opening Day.
Duggar added to his impressive spring on Monday, launching a two-run homer off lefty Ryan Buchter in the fifth inning of the Giants' 6-5 win over the A's. He also nearly legged out a well-placed sacrifice bunt in the third.
Over 12 spring games, Duggar has four homers, nine RBIs and is slashing .300/.400/.733.
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Considered the best in-house option in the Giants' system to play center field, Duggar will be playing every day, somewhere, when the regular season starts. Given there doesn't appear to be room for him right now in the Giants' outfield, he may be ticketed for Triple-A Sacramento. His best chance to make the big league club is if the Giants envision him being part of a platoon situation in center.
But, he's leaving a lasting impression that could benefit him as time progresses.
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"I saw him take BP in Sacramento. He put on a show there," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It opened my eyes, and that was just BP. So, no, I'm not surprised. Quick bat. A good day for him."
Roster moves:
The Giants made several roster moves on Monday, optioning eight players to Triple-A Sacramento, while reassigning five more to Minor League camp.
Those optioned include right-handers Tyler Herb, Pierce Johnson, Chase Johnson and Reyes Moronta, left-handers Steven Okert and D.J. Snelten, catcher Aramis Garcia and infielder Miguel Gomez. The players reassigned to Minor League camp are right-handers Tyler Cyr, Jose Flores, Dereck Rodriguez and Madison Younginer, and infielder Alen Hanson.
Injury update
Third baseman Evan Longoria was scratched from Friday's game with stiffness in his left heel and ankle and is considered day-to-day. He could return to the field Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Bochy.
Catcher Hector Sanchez has been sidelined since Feb. 28 because of a hamstring injury and is expected to miss up to two more weeks, which is right around the time the Giants are slated to break camp.
Coffee talk
With baseball in full swing, outfielder Hunter Pence doesn't have a physical presence at his new co-owned Houston coffee shop, The Coral Sword, but he is keeping close tabs on its progress through his business partners and, much to his delight, a random teammate here and there.
Pence, who lives in Houston during the offseason, and was on hand to host the grand opening of the new venue, which features coffee, board games, and interactive video games, received a text recently from John Mayberry Jr., who had recently moved to Houston and decided to check out his former teammate's newest venture.
The two were teammates when Pence played for the Phillies.
"He said, 'I'm sitting in your coffee shop right now. This is awesome,'" Pence said. "That was really cool."

Pence is pleased with the reception The Coral Sword has received since it opened in late January. Located near the University of Houston, the establishment has attracted a wide array of young people looking to hang out with friends, have a quiet date, or, in the case of the more bookwormy patrons, study with the benefit of a strong Wi-Fi connection.
And, there's pizza.
"It's just a space to get creative, a space to do whatever you need to do," Pence said. "With all the stuff online these days, sometimes it's nice to sit down and have a face-to-face game and spend quality time. We wanted to create that connection."
• Closer Mark Melancon, who has made two appearances this spring, most recently on Sunday, will next appear in a game on Wednesday when the Giants play a night game against Seattle. Melancon yielded a home run to Jose Pirela, but otherwise had no further blemishes.
• Starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, who has made two Cactus League starts, will pitch in a Minor League game on Wednesday.
Up next
The Giants will make a return trip to Mesa on Tuesday, but this time to play the Cubs at Sloan Park at 12:05 p.m. PT. Opening Day starter Madison Bumgarner will take the mound for the Giants, as he will face Cubs righty Tyler Chatwood. Also expected to pitch for the Giants: left-hander Tony Watson and right-handers Hunter Strickland and Cory Gearrin. Listen to an exclusive audio webcast of the game on

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.