Since the start of 2020, the SF Giants have done well to minimize any potential COVID outbreaks as positive cases have been few and far in between. However, this week is proving to be a new challenge for the 2022 team as five new positive cases have emerged.
SF Giants experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak
The outbreak began with Mike Yastrzemski testing positive last Sunday. It has been five days since his first test, so he is eligible to begin taking PCR tests. He will need to produce two negative tests before he can be activated back to the major league roster.
The 31-year-old outfielder has slashed .267/.340/.356 (108 OPS+) with one home run, three RBI, and six runs in 50 plate appearances so far in 2022. Given that the injuries are beginning to pile up, his return will be a welcomed sight to a lineup that is running thin.
A few days after Yastrzemski's positive test, Zack Littell tested positive as well. The righty has recorded six scoreless appearances with five strikeouts and zero walks in 2022, so it is a tough blow. The Giants bullpen has been the best in baseball with a 1.54 ERA and Littell has been an important part of that unit.
On Friday, San Francisco had three more positive cases with Brandon Belt, Dominic Leone, and Steven Duggar. The Giants made a series of roster moves before Friday night's game so that they had enough players to compete.
Duggar had already been on the 60-day injured list with an oblique strain, so the positive test does not have an impact from a roster standpoint. The center fielder posted a .509 OPS in 39 plate appearances before sustaining the injury and he stands to miss at least the next two months as he recovers.
Belt was off to a hot start, registering a .242/.367/.470 line (148 OPS+) with four home runs, nine RBI, and 10 runs in 79 plate appearances before hitting the COVID list. Lastly, Leone yielded just two earned runs in his first nine appearances with the Giants.
Placing a player on the COVID list temporarily removes them from the 40-man roster, thereby creating an extra roster spot. The Giants have used this as an opportunity to make a pair of additions. Nevertheless, the hope is that none of the five players endure an extended absence from this virus, that they fully recover, and get back on the field soon.