Major league spring training for the San Francisco Giants is set to begin later this week, but what about the minor leaguers in the organization? All players that are not on San Francisco's 40-man roster or been extended non-roster invitations to big league camp are scheduled to report to Scottsdale during the final week of February before a 2 1/2 week exhibition game slate against other farm teams.
San Francisco's minor league spring training officially begins on Tuesday, February 25 when all international players are due to report. U.S. players will report on Thursday, February 27 before the first full workout on Friday, February 28. Giants minor leaguers will participate in several workouts and intra-squad games over the following days before their exhibition opener on Wednesday, March 12.
Minor league spring training is an ultra-competitive setting as over 150 players will be fighting for roster spots on the four teams scheduled to begin their seasons in early-April (Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, High-A San Jose Giants and Class-A Augusta GreenJackets). Beginning on the 12th, the San Francisco front office will put players on the four individual teams: a Triple-A squad, a Double-A team, a High-A team and a Class-A club. Those four teams will play either a 14-game or 15-game exhibition schedule over the following 2 1/2 weeks against other organizations in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.
Here is the full spring training game schedule for the "High-A" team, or the players most likely to begin the season in San Jose:
Wednesday, March 12 - at Rockies
Thursday, March 13 - vs. Diamondbacks
Friday, March 14 - at Cubs
Monday, March 17 - at Diamondbacks
Tuesday, March 18 - vs. Rockies
Wednesday, March 19 - at Angels
Thursday, March 20 - at Rockies
Friday, March 21 - vs. Angels
Saturday, March 22 - vs. Cubs
Monday, March 24 - vs. Rockies
Tuesday, March 25 - vs. A's
Wednesday, March 26 - at Rockies
Thursday, March 27 - vs. Angels
Friday, March 28 - at A's
All games begin at 1:00 PM. Giants home games are played at the Giants Baseball Complex in Scottsdale (8045 E. Camelback Road). Diamondbacks and Rockies home games are in Scottsdale, A's home games are in Phoenix, Angels home games are in Tempe and Cubs home games are played in Mesa.
12 of San Jose's 14 spring training games are against teams from the California League with five contests against Modesto (Rockies), three games against Inland Empire (Angels), two games versus Stockton (A's) and two games against Visalia (Diamondbacks). The two remaining games will be played against Daytona - the Cubs' High-A affiliate from the Florida State League.
The rosters for the four clubs within the San Francisco farm system during spring training are fluid meaning several players will shift up-and-down throughout the exhibition season. A strong spring training performance during these games can certainly help a player's cause whether it's attempting to earn a promotion up the minor league chain or perhaps just make a team out of spring for the first time. Unfortunately, spring training can also have negative consequences for minor league players with a handful likely to be released at various times during March.
An official announcement of the 2014 San Jose Giants roster will not occur until after the final exhibition game.
The San Jose Giants open their 140-game regular season on Thursday, April 3 in Rancho Cucamonga.