With the calendar having turned to a new year, the start of baseball season is now fast approaching. Major league spring training is set to begin in less than a month, but what about the minor leaguers? 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 by the first week of March before a 2 1/2 week exhibition game slate against other farm teams.
San Francisco's minor league spring training officially begins on Wednesday, February 27 when all international players are due to report. U.S. players will report on Friday, March 1 before the first full workout on Saturday, March 2. The Giants will participate in several workouts and intra-squad games over the following days before their exhibition opener on Wednesday, March 13.
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 Low-A Augusta GreenJackets). Beginning on the 13th, 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 Low-A club. Those four teams will play either a 15-game or 16-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 13 - at Diamondbacks
Friday, March 15 - vs. Rockies
Saturday, March 16 - at LA Angels
Monday, March 18 - at Rockies
Tuesday, March 19 - vs. Cubs
Wednesday, March 20 - at Diamondbacks
Thursday, March 21 - at A's
Friday, March 22 - vs. LA Angels
Saturday, March 23 - vs. A's
Monday, March 25 - at Cubs
Tuesday, March 26 - vs. Diamondbacks
Wednesday, March 27 - vs. A's
Thursday, March 28 - at LA Angels
Friday, March 29 - vs. Cubs
Saturday, March 30 - 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 15 spring training games are against teams from the California League with four contests against Stockton (A's), three games against Visalia (Diamondbacks), three games versus Inland Empire (Angels) and two games against Modesto (Rockies). The three 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 2013 San Jose Giants roster will not occur until after the final exhibition game. Be sure to check sjgiants.com throughout spring training for position-by-position projections of the new Giants team.
The San Jose Giants open the 140-game regular season on Thursday, April 4 in Visalia.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.