Dave Groeschner, L.J. Petra and Abe Silvestri aren’t established major league players or high-level front office executives, but they rank among the most important members of the 2020 San Francisco Giants.
If the Giants hope to find success in a daunting 60-game season that begins tonight, they’ll need Groeschner, their senior director of athletic training, Petra, the newly-installed infection control prevention coordinator, and Silvestri, a first-year traveling secretary, to log extensive hours and seamlessly execute complicated plans.
“We have a lot of trust in L.J. Petra, Dave Groeschner, our head athletic trainer and any time we’re setting up itineraries by way of example, my goal is to make sure that it’s run by them and our strength and conditioning department as well so that our medical staff has signed off on it,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.
After securing a 4-2 exhibition win over the A’s on Tuesday at Oracle Park, the Giants officially wrapped up a successful three-week summer camp in San Francisco and moved onto a new, equally challenging itinerary.
The team is bound for Los Angeles, a coronavirus hotspot, for a four-game series with the Dodgers that opens Thursday.
Players are leaving their Bay Area homes, apartments and hotel rooms and boarding chartered buses.
They’ll fly together on a chartered plane before busing to a Southern California hotel.
With an out-of-control virus spreading throughout the country, it’s fair to ask: Is this safe?
“Obviously the risk of infection is there, but let’s just assume that people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” said Dr. George Rutherford, a professor of epidemiology at UCSF. “They’re wearing masks, they’re keeping some distance, and I realize that’s tough on planes, but I assume they’re putting them every other seat. They have single hotel rooms and these guys are also tested a lot.”
The Giants open the season Thursday at 7 p.m. against the Dodgers on ESPN.