Steven Duggar Shines, Makes Instant Impact in Return to Giants Lineup

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There's a phrase Steven Duggar uses often, and he dropped it into an interview after making his spring debut Friday night. 

"I like to go get it," he says. 

The Giants do not want their young center fielder to fully go get it, at least not yet, not for a few more weeks. 

Duggar is coming off shoulder surgery and has been told not to dive until Opening Day. Ordinarily that wouldn't be a big deal, especially not in spring training. 

But Duggar really, really likes to go get it, and it's one of the things he does best. In a full season, he should be one of the more effective defensive outfielders in the National League, and he has spent years dreaming of diving through the air at Oracle Park, robbing an opponent of extra bases. 

Ironically, Duggar tore his left labrum by diving, just not on defense. He got hurt diving back into second base last year, just as he was really getting going at the plate, and in his spring debut Friday, he naturally had a similar test. 

Duggar went hard around third on a bloop to left but went back because he had missed the bag. He slipped during the sequence, but there was no dive back into the bag. 

An hour later, he said he feels great physically. Mentally, the months of rehab do not weigh on him when he takes the field. 

"We've done the rehab, we've done the work, and now it's just about trusting it," Duggar said. "When I have to dive for the first time, I think once I do that, it will truly be behind me, but in terms of playing I feel normal. I'm 100 percent healthy, for sure."

He also is potentially headed for life as a leadoff hitter. That swing around third was part of a sequence that showed why the Giants like his bat near the top of the order. 

Duggar drew a walk, stole second without a throw after getting a good jump, took third on a bloop to left and then raced home on a wild pitch that didn't get far from the plate. It was the kind of manufactured run this lineup will need. 

[RELATED: Why Steven Duggar wants to bring bunts back to life for Giants]

Duggar is on track to be fully ready for the season, but the staff will continue to ease him into the spring schedule. That's fine with him. His focus right now is on getting back to a point where everything slows down on the field. 

"I felt a little quick out there, but that's alright, that's part of it," he said. "I'll make the adjustment and try to apply that into the next game."

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