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WASHINGTON — Needing a bench upgrade, the Astros acquired coach Mauricio Dubón from the San Francisco Giants on Saturday for minor league catcher Michael Papierski.

Dubón can play center field, second base, shortstop and third base — versatility for an Astros team that needs it. José Altuve, Jeremy Peña and Aledmys Díaz have been bothered by nagging minor injuries during this road trip. Niko Goodrum, whom the team signed this spring to provide infield depth, has struck out 20 times in his first 39 at-bats.

Dubón is the only active Major Leaguer from Honduras. The Boston Red Sox drafted him in 2013 and traded him to the Milwaukee Brewers before the 2016 season. Dubón made his major league debut in Milwaukee in 2017 before establishing himself as a major leaguer with the Giants.

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Dubón had a .698 OPS during his four seasons in San Francisco. He played mostly center field, another area where the Astros could use a boost, but he can also play the two middle infield spots. Houston is getting just 0.4 wins above replacing its center fielders, according to FanGraphs.

Dubón has earned four defensive runs saved over 495 career innings in center field, according to FanGraphs. At second base, Dubón is worth three defensive runs saved.

Papierski became the victim of a catch jam at Class AAA Sugar Land. Top prospect Korey Lee and Scott Manea are also on the Space Cowboys’ roster, though Manea has been playing more first base than catching. Getting Lee as many games behind the plate as possible is the apparent goal.

Houston selected Papierski in the ninth round of the 2017 draft. A college teammate and close friend of Alex Bregman, Papierski endeared himself to the organization. Major league pitchers often raved about him when they returned from minor league rehab assignments.

Papierski, a switch hitter, never found much offensive continuity. He controlled the strike zone well and posted a .358 on-base percentage as a result, but only hit .220 during his Astros minor league career.



Reference-www.houstonchronicle.com

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