Giants Spring Training FAQ, things to know

February 18th, 2021

With Spring Training officially underway for the Giants, we put together a list of frequently asked questions to help prepare you for the start of the 2021 season.

Given the pandemic, how is Spring Training going to be different this year?
Under the health and safety protocols for the 2021 season, players must undergo an intake screening that includes a mandatory five-day, at-home quarantine period before reporting to Spring Training. Any individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days.

Teams will be allowed to invite up to 75 players to camp. As of Thursday, the Giants are projected to have 71 players at Major League Spring Training, including 29 non-roster invitees. Split-squad games have been eliminated from the Cactus League schedule this year, but the Giants are still expected to play 28 exhibition games in Arizona, including the annual Bay Bridge series with the A’s.

Scottsdale Stadium will also be off-limits to the media until the Giants host their first full-squad workout on Monday.

Who will be some new faces in camp?
The Giants’ offseason additions include infielders Tommy La Stella and Jason Vosler; catcher Curt Casali; right-handers Anthony DeSclafani and Aaron Sanchez; left-hander Alex Wood; relievers Matt Wisler, Jake McGee and John Brebbia; and outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr.

What are the key position battles to watch?
Center field remains a question mark for the Giants. Mauricio Dubón is the projected starter there, but San Francisco could opt for a platoon if a left-handed-hitting outfielder like Steven Duggar or Wade impresses with a big spring. Manager Gabe Kapler has listed Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater and Jaylin Davis as center-field options as well, but they’re better suited for the corners, leaving the Giants thin in the middle of the diamond.

There are also spots up for grabs in the bullpen. Matt Wisler, Jake McGee and Jarlín García should be locks, and Trevor Gott, Tyler Rogers and Reyes Moronta -- assuming he returns to his pre-surgery form -- likely have inside tracks for relief jobs as well. That leaves Wandy Peralta, Sam Selman, Camilo Doval, Rule 5 Draft pick Dedniel Núñez and non-roster invitees like Dominic Leone, Silvino Bracho, James Sherfy, Zack Littell and Jay Jackson to compete for the remaining slots. Caleb Baragar and Nick Tropeano will be stretched out this spring, but they could also draw looks as multi-inning relievers if they’re unable to crack the Giants’ rotation.

Who are some prospects to keep an eye on in camp?
The Giants will have most of their top prospects in big league camp this year, so there will be plenty of eyes on shortstop Marco Luciano (ranked No. 16 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list), catchers Joey Bart and Patrick Bailey and outfielders Heliot Ramos and Hunter Bishop.

There is also plenty of excitement surrounding several of the club’s young pitching prospects, including right-handers Sean Hjelle and Tristan Beck and relievers Kervin Castro, Gregory Santos and Doval. The latter three were added to the Giants’ 40-man roster this offseason and seem likely to factor into the Giants’ bullpen mix in 2021. Hjelle and Beck, meanwhile, could develop into rotation options at some point this summer.

Which players are on the mend?
First baseman Brandon Belt underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his right heel in October and isn’t guaranteed to be ready for Opening Day. The Giants are hoping he’ll be available for the start of the season, but if he’s not, they could have Wilmer Flores or La Stella fill in at first in the interim.

Tyler Beede and Brebbia are also rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and probably won’t be ready to pitch for the Giants until May at the earliest. 

When is the first Spring Training game?
The Giants are scheduled to play their Cactus League opener against the Angels at Scottsdale Stadium on Feb. 28 at 12:05 p.m. PT.

How can I watch/listen/follow Spring Training games?
Select Spring Training games will be available on MLB.TV. Check back here for more details as broadcast schedules are finalized leading up to the start of Cactus League play.

Will fans be allowed to attend Spring Training games at Scottsdale Stadium?
Yes. The Giants received approval from Major League Baseball to host approximately 750-1,000 fans for each of their home exhibition games this spring. Priority for those tickets is expected to go to season ticket members at Scottsdale Stadium. Seats will be sold in pods of two or four in socially distanced locations throughout the ballpark. Fans will also be required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

When is Opening Day, and who is the opponent?
The Giants will head to Seattle for their April 1 opener against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT.

Will fans be allowed to attend regular-season games at Oracle Park?
That remains to be seen. Giants president and CEO Larry Baer sent a letter to fans in January in which he expressed confidence that fans will be allowed to return to Oracle Park at some point in 2021. Still, local health officials will have the ultimate say in determining when it will be safe for fans to resume attending games.

"While our state and country continue to face many challenges resulting from the pandemic, I am feeling more optimistic as vaccines begin to become available in our communities," Baer wrote. "We certainly have a ways to go until we get past the pandemic, but we are encouraged and can see a pathway to welcoming our fans back to Oracle Park."