ST. LOUIS — Donovan Walton is the latest of the recent infielder acquitistions by the San Francisco Giants from the Mariners, following in the frequent-flyer miles of Mike Ford and Kevin Padlo. And now he’s already with the big-league team.
He’s at Busch Stadium, that is, part of a somewhat more expanded taxi squad than the Giants used on their first multi-city road trip. The team has Walton, a left-handed hitting utility player, and Luke Williams, a righty utility player, available if need be, along with relievers Yunior Marte and Mauricio Llovera.
The Giants lost two players to positive COVID-19 tests on their last road trip, and two more right when they got back to San Francisco. With a day game Saturday in St. Louis — a tough place to get to nonstop — the team figures it’s better to be prepared in case of illness or injury.
“I think what we’ve seen this year is that we can’t see everything that’s coming,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “We’ve had some COVID issues, obviously we’ve had some injury issues. The most important thing is that we’re not caught in a situation with a game after a night game where it’s difficult to get people here, and we also value making travel a little bit easier — flying cross-country on a red-eye is not super-conducive to having success on the field. So I think we’ve sort of considered those things and decided…