The Giants probably did not need a reminder that the pandemic is not over with, but the Yankees — who reportedly have seven vaccinated coaches who have tested positive for the coronavirus — and the Padres — who have their own flare-up, including a positive case for star Fernando Tatis Jr. — can provide some caution.
As can Brandon Crawford, who is out of Thursday’s lineup because he is experiencing side effects from the vaccine, Gabe Kapler said.
And yet, amid so much concern about the virus, the Giants have reached a significant milestone within their clubhouse that enables them to function in ways that approximate normalcy.
— KNBR (@KNBR) May 13, 2021
No longer do they have to wear masks in the dugout and around team facilities. They can have meetings with fully vaccinated players and coaches in hotel rooms, which they had been barred from previously. They now can stay with fully vaccinated family members while on the road. There are a lot of relaxed rules around clubs that hit the 85 percent threshold of Tier One individuals who are fully vaccinated, and the Giants officially hit that mark Thursday.
Kapler, who can show his unmasked face in the dugout for the first time to Giants fans, said he was planning on talking with the club before they began their four-game series in Pittsburgh.
“It’s going to be a very short meeting, and it’s just going to be a reminder to stay diligent,” the manager said over Zoom, although distanced, one-on-one interviews with players will be allowed with media for the first time when the Giants return home next week. Kapler spoke with a mask around his neck. “…When we’re talking to another fully vaccinated individual in the clubhouse, we’re going to feel a little bit more comfortable putting our masks down.”
It’s still possible some within the Giants wear a mask, even as the CDC announced Thursday that fully vaccinated individuals can ditch their masks while around others who are fully vaccinated. Kapler has said the Giants are beyond 85 percent fully vaccinated, but a small percentage of the traveling party is not vaccinated.
Donovan Solano will run the bases Thursday and plans to start a rehab assignment with the River Cats in Oklahoma City on Saturday or Sunday, Kapler said.
The Silver Slugger second baseman has been out since he suffered a calf strain strain on April 21. The Giants have not declared a potential return date, but it seems possible he could be ready for the Dodgers series at Oracle Park beginning May 21.