The recent lockout was a major challenge for the San Francisco Giants, as Larry Baer and his staff pride themselves on their regular communication with players. For 99 days during the lockout, all communications between front staff/coaches and players were prohibited. When the lockout was resolved by the coaches and players’ organization, the Giants staff wasted no time reconnecting with players.
The coaching staff learned that the lockout was over while watching simulated games together. The update simultaneously flashed on all coaches’ phones, and they quickly turned their attention to their phones. Texts and calls were immediate and non-stop, as coaches and players both reached out to each other.
One coach who quickly contacted a player was Andrew Bailey, who oversees the bullpen. A brief conversation with a right-handed pitcher confirmed that the pitcher would be ready to go on day one of training camp — the pitcher had already thrown between when the news about the lockout broke, and when the two spoke by phone.
Other coaches were similarly having conversations with their respective players, including both last year’s team members and new ones who are signing on for the 2022 season.
Larry Baer has previously made it known that his staff intended to aggressively pursue new players as soon as the lockout ended. They would favor unsigned free agents, but also consider trades for the right players. Some of the players that coaches were talking with when the agreement news broke were undoubtedly targets that the Giants hoped to sign.
Welcoming all players at the beginning of the 2022 season must include the standard administrative items that take place every year. Standard welcomings, orientation, physicals and other onboarding details would be expedited in order to begin training as quickly as possible.
The front office and coaches hoped to begin full workouts on the Monday following the agreement’s news. These would include aerobic exercises, weight room workouts, drills, meetings and scrimmages, with players training for hours each day. The intensity will also likely be higher than a standard season, as everyone wants to make up for lost time.
With training starting so quickly and a potentially abbreviated spring training season, it’s especially important that players were training on their own. They’ll need the off-season training to reduce the risk of injury when play starts, and to ensure they have the stamina for a full season and post-season — Baer hopes to build a championship-caliber team.
Players also need to be physically ready for the season, on account of a new rule included within the collective bargaining agreement. Teams across both the National League and the American League are unable to send players between their major and minor teams as much. Thus, Larry Baer will likely be somewhat reluctant to call a minor league player up while a Giants player rests because they weren’t properly conditioned.
The San Francisco Giants have high hopes for the 2022 season. They’re wasting no time getting started.