LOS ANGELES -- A day after manager Bruce Bochy said Steven Duggar would stay in center, the second-year player found himself in right field.
The braintrust met after Tuesday's game and decided that Kevin Pillar, acquired in the morning, would get the majority of the time in center field. Duggar will still get starts there, and will always play there when Pillar is off, but for now he's changing positions. Bochy said the decision was made because Pillar hasn't played a lot of the corners in his career and Duggar did pretty recently in the minor leagues.
"I think the transition is a little easier for Duggar off the bat," Bochy said.
Pillar has made 579 big league starts in center field, compared to just 55 in left and seven in right. He has been a tremendous defender and Gold Glove finalist, so there certainly is no downgrade from Duggar, who could reach that level himself. Duggar has only been a center fielder since getting called up last season but made 135 appearances in right field in the minors and played there as recently as 2017.
"I'm open to it," Duggar said. "It'll be good here and a lot of fun ... I'm excited for it."
This is the rare champagne problem for the Giants, as either would be an above-average option in any outfield spot. But the decision is still a bit of a curious one simply because Duggar is -- or was -- being groomed as the center fielder of the future. Pillar is eligible for free agency after 2020 and could be traded or non-tendered before then.
You would think the Giants would want Duggar to establish himself now, but they decided to go with the veteran. Duggar said all the right things about it Wednesday.
"If a ball drops (between us) out there, it was meant to be a hit," he said.