Giants encouraged by how players are handling early safety protocols

Alex Pavlovic
NBC Sports BayArea

The owners and players don't appear to be any closer to a resolution that will allow baseball to return to the field this summer, but behind the scenes, the Giants haven't allowed that to be too discouraging. They know that at any moment they might get word that they have to rush to San Francisco for Spring Training 2.0, and they're trying to stay ready.

While players have mostly been diligently working out at home since camp ended in March, the Giants quietly opened up their Scottsdale facility last month to further ramp things up. Players who live in the area have been allowed to come in to work out, although there is a limit on how many staffers can be in the building at one time and visits are staggered to allow for proper distancing. 

During a recent appearance on KNBR, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said he was encouraged by the way players are going about their workouts when allowed into the facility, calling it a positive development. 

"One of the realities of our situation is it's going to be a different experience for players and staff coming to the ballpark," Zaidi said. "What it means to even get in the front door, frankly, but then what it's going to look like inside. For us to be able to ramp that facility up and in very limited numbers have people coming through, players coming through, going through individual workouts, it's exposed them to what it's going to be like."

If the game resumes, the ramp-up from this point will be significant. The Giants are talking every day about what a shortened season might look like, sharing ideas on how to allow the players and coaches to properly train. 

While the organization has not fully decided if their three-week training period will take place at Scottsdale Stadium or Oracle Park, the strong lean is to return to San Francisco.

While Scottsdale Stadium provides an extra field, more bullpen mounds, and a new state-of-the-art weight room and training facility, Giants employees believe that San Francisco is safer overall, having made a much stronger commitment to trying to flatten the curve. A few high-ranking team employees who stayed in Arizona originally have returned to the Bay Area.

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Oracle Park is unmatched as a baseball stadium, but there will be complications for a second spring training and shortened season. The Giants have talked about putting up temporary batting cages in the concourses and creating new clubhouse and changing spaces to spread players and coaches out. 

This is all just the tip of the iceberg, and if the Giants get word that baseball is returning, it'll be a wild scramble to get everything in place. It'll be something unlike anything players have been through before, but the early signs are encouraging. 

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"Our players that have come through (Scottsdale Stadium) have been awesome with complying with all the rules, some which I'm sure seem a little bit onerous under the circumstances, but again it's just the reality of the situation that we're in," Zaidi said. "We're going to have to do this on a much grander scale if we get going here in a couple of weeks. Seeing the players being so bought-in to the safety protocols we put in place, that's been a real encouraging sign, because we're going to need that on a broad scale."

Giants encouraged by how players are handling early safety protocols originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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