Programming note: Giants-Padres coverage starts this afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
SAN DIEGO – Chris Dominguez sat down to the best breakfast of his life Sunday morning.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy ambled over and told the 6-foot-4, brick-house built infielder/outfielder that he’d be making his first major league start. Dominguez is in left field batting eighth against Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy as the Giants try to avoid being swept in a three-game series at Petco Park.
“I’m going to try to have fun with it,” said the 27-year-old right-handed hitter, who is coming off the best of his six minor league seasons in the Giants system.
Bochy needed to reach down his depth chart for an outfielder because Angel Pagan (inflamed nerve in lower back) is going to see Dr. Robert Watkins again in Los Angeles and Michael Morse (strained left oblique) is returning to San Francisco for another MRI exam. Bochy downgraded both outfielders from questionable to doubtful for the three-game series at Dodger Stadium that begins on Sunday. With Morse, especially, there’s a decent chance he’s done for the season.
It’s not like the Giants could keep sticking with Juan Perez, even though they believe he has the major league tools to succeed at this level. He is 0-for-13 with a walk on the road trip and is down to .161/.223/.276 in 96 plate appearances this season.
“We need a little more production from the outfield, and Juan just isn’t seeing the ball right now,” Bochy said of Perez, who has been a pop-up factory in recent days.
Why Dominguez over Gary Brown? Because, Bochy said simply, Dominguez had the better year at Triple-A Fresno. They also believe Blanco is their best center fielder after Perez.
“(Dominguez) had a good year at Triple-A and had power numbers to go with it, so we’ll give him a game here,” Bochy said. “He has a good arm, too, and he runs well.”
Dominguez batted .274/.304/.460 while becoming the first player in Fresno history – and the first in the Pacific Coast league in five years -- to record at least 20 doubles, 20 home runs, 20 stolen bases and 80 RBIs in a single season. He came up as a third baseman but has played first base and both corner spots. He certainly has enough raw arm strength to handle any spot on the diamond. In fact, every year it's a running gag that vice president Dick Tidrow will steal him away and put him on the mound.
A Los Angeles native who grew up in South Florida, Dominguez was drafted in the third round in 2009 out of the University of Louisville. He said he has some extended family here in San Diego to watch him play.