Why Giants sent Luke Williams to minors despite solid start to season

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Why Giants optioned Williams despite solid start to season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

NEW YORK -- About an hour after he was optioned to Triple-A, Luke Williams stepped out onto the dirt at Citi Field and started taking grounders. It'll be an odd day for the utility man, who is off to a solid start in his first season with the Giants.

The Giants will face only one left-handed pitcher -- Washington's Patrick Corbin -- over the next few days and the New York Mets' righties are particularly tough on right-handed bats, so Jason Vosler was called up to give the infield another left-handed bat. Monday's rainout gave both teams a 29th man for the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader, so the Giants kept Williams around. They will choose between him and right-handed reliever Yunior Marte as their extra player.

Williams was acquired in March and has two hits in five at-bats so far, while playing good defense at third base. Manager Gabe Kapler made it clear the decision was not about Williams' play.

"It's (been) universally positive across the board in every category," Kapler said of Williams. "Good at-bats, solid defense, good baserunning, good teammate."

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Vosler played 41 games for the Giants last year and posted a .612 OPS with three homers. Kapler said the staff felt the need for another left-handed bat, and the word from Triple-A was that Vosler was "trending in the right direction" with his swing.

"I would say this roster move exemplifies why a player like Jason Vosler is so important," Kapler said. "You're sensing a string of tough right-handed pitchers coming up and your bats are a little lopsided in the direction of righties -- not terribly lopsided, but to balance things we needed one more left-handed bat and Vosler was such a pro last year.

"It's nice to know you have a guy you can stick out there that you know what you're going to get: A threat to hit a home run, a great teammate, a good defender, a heads-up baserunner. Those guys are really valuable over the course of a Major League Baseball season."

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