Giants Move Steven Duggar Back to Center Month After Kevin Pillar Trade

PHOENIX -- One of the best catches of Steven Duggar's career came here at Chase Field last summer, and in their first visit to Arizona in 2019, the Giants decided to put Duggar back in his favorite spot. 

Duggar moved back to center field and Kevin Pillar moved to right field for the first time since being acquired in early April. Manager Bruce Bochy said he met with Pillar, who has been a center fielder for just about all of his career. 

"We're going to take a look at this," he said. "We've giving Duggar some time in center field. He's younger and there's a little more room to cover here and in our ballpark."

Pillar has been an elite defender throughout his career but, aside from a home run robbery in Cincinnati, that hasn't always shown since the trade from Toronto. It has been clear over the past month that Duggar is getting to more balls, and the metrics back it up. 

Defensive metrics aren't very reliable in small samples, but still, Duggar has been worth five Defensive Runs Saved in just 61 innings in center field. That ranks him fifth in the Majors, and every other center fielder who has been above average by DRS has played at least twice as many innings in the spot. 

Bochy wouldn't say it, but there are two other aspects at play here, too. The Giants already are out of contention, and Duggar is the center fielder of the future. Plus, moving Pillar makes it easier for Bochy to handle the lineup if he wants to take a look at Aaron Altherr in a corner without pulling Duggar from the lineup.

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Altherr hasn't played since being activated Tuesday but Bochy said he's looking for a spot. 

"At the same time, Mac (Williamson) has come up here and you want him to get a full opportunity to see what he can do," Bochy said. 

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