Dubon makes mark in limited big league camp duty

Dubon makes mark in limited big league camp duty

PHOENIX -- It happened in an instant, and yet Mauricio Dubon's defensive gem in Thursday's Cactus League victory was the sort of thing that sticks in a manager's mind, Craig Counsell said.

Dubon, No. 9 on MLBPipleline.com's list of the top Brewers prospects, came over from Minor League camp to start Thursday's 8-2 win over the Padres, and he made his mark with a great play in the first inning. Dubon ranged deep into the hole to backhand a grounder and made a jump throw to first base for the final out.

"I liked that play. It was a good play. It surprised us all a little bit," Counsell said.

Dubon is not a member of Milwaukee's big league camp, but he has already appeared in seven games as a loaner from the Minor League side.

"That's just a really athletic play, it shows great body control and it shows great arm strength, really," Counsell said. "You love to see a player who is able to complete a play like that, because it's a sign that there's not too much at shortstop that he's not able to do. After he makes a play like that, you say to yourself, 'What play in seven games has he not made?' He's made every play you need to make there at the Major League level.

"It puts that stamp: This guy's a shortstop. He's a shortstop."

Catching derby still open
Three weeks into Spring Training, with a bit more than three weeks to go, the Brewers remain open-minded about their plans behind the plate, Counsell said. Jett Bandy, Manny Pina and Andrew Susac are candidates to be the starting catcher on Opening Day.

"Nothing has really changed or been decided, or even necessarily been thought of," Counsell said. "I think it's a mistake to do that. I don't think it's fair to the guys to do that. So I think you let it happen longer. I think that's the most fair way to do it. We have to let them play and realize that there's going to be the guy who has the good first week, and the guy who it takes a little longer to get going, and let that happen."

Camp cuts coming
Having cleared their two split-squad days of the spring, the Brewers could make their next round of camp cuts as early as Saturday, and among the players expected to return to the Minors soon is right-handed pitcher Taylor Williams, who is completing his comeback from 2015 Tommy John surgery. Williams is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Saturday morning.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.