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Key dates, lingering questions for Giants in '20

@mi_guardado
January 16, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 2020 Giants are poised to look markedly different from last year. Longtime manager Bruce Bochy, franchise pitcher Madison Bumgarner, closer Will Smith and co-home run leader Kevin Pillar are gone, signaling the beginning of a new era under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, general manager

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 2020 Giants are poised to look markedly different from last year. Longtime manager Bruce Bochy, franchise pitcher Madison Bumgarner, closer Will Smith and co-home run leader Kevin Pillar are gone, signaling the beginning of a new era under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, general manager Scott Harris and new skipper Gabe Kapler.

Here's a primer for the rest of the offseason, addressing key dates and a few lingering questions for the Giants as Spring Training approaches.

When is FanFest?
FanFest will be held on Feb. 8 at Oracle Park.

When does Spring Training begin?
Giants pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Scottsdale, Ariz., on Feb. 11, and will participate in their first workout on Feb. 12. Position players will report on Feb. 16, with the first full-squad workout slated for Feb. 17.

When do the Giants play their first Spring Training game?
The Giants will open their Cactus League schedule against the Dodgers on Feb. 22 at Scottsdale Stadium.

Will there be any local exhibition games before the regular season?
After playing their Cactus League finale against the Reds on March 21, the Giants will return to Northern California and face their Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats, on March 22 at Sutter Health Park. San Francisco will conclude its exhibition schedule with a two-game Bay Bridge Series against the A's, playing one game at the Coliseum on March 23 and one game at Oracle Park on March 24.

When is Opening Day?
Opening Day is scheduled for March 26 against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

When is the Giants’ home opener?
The Giants will play their home opener on April 3 against the Dodgers at Oracle Park.

Three questions to be answered for the Giants

1. Will Zaidi make a splash by landing a high-profile acquisition this offseason?
It’s been a rough offseason for Giants fans, many of whom have been disappointed by the front office’s decision to appoint Kapler as Bochy’s successor and cut ties with such popular players as Bumgarner, Smith, Pillar and Stephen Vogt. San Francisco didn’t emerge as a major player for superstars like Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler and Anthony Rendon at the Winter Meetings, but there’s still plenty of offseason left to make an impactful move that could help generate excitement at Oracle Park in 2020. The Giants have a vacancy in the outfield, so perhaps they’ll fill it by making a run at top free-agent outfielders Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna.

2. How will Kapler fare in his second managerial stint in the Majors?
Kapler joins the Giants after two underwhelming seasons with the Phillies, but his background in player development could serve him well as he inherits a roster that will feature plenty of young players in 2020. Kapler has made eight additions to his coaching staff thus far, many of whom are viewed as unconventional hires due to their lack of Major League experience overall. It will be interesting to see how San Francisco veterans such as Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt respond to the coaching changes, especially after working with the same instructors for most of their careers.

3. When will Joey Bart arrive?
Bart, who is ranked the second-best catching prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, will be back in big league camp and figures to be one of the major storylines of the spring. The 23-year-old reached Double-A Richmond last year and was tearing up the Arizona Fall League before sustaining a season-ending thumb fracture, making him one of the most exciting players in the organization. The Giants haven't shied away from aggressively promoting their top prospects, so it shouldn't be long before Bart debuts in San Francisco.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.