Ryan Vogelsong has taken a long and circuitous route to get to where he is now, the pinnacle of baseball success. In the past two seasons, Vogelsong emerged as one of the Giants' top starting pitchers, an All-Star in 2011 and a key contributor to the Giants' 2012 World Series victory.
Vogelsong will be starting for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, an honor he is extremely excited about. The WBC championship series will take place in San Francisco at AT&T Park on March 17-19.
To find more information on the WBC and to get tickets, go to www.worldbaseballclassic.com
Prior to 2011, Vogelsong's career appeared to be one of long bus rides to minor league towns and flights to distant locations around the world.
Vogelsong broke into the majors with San Francisco in 2000 and was traded, along with outfielder Armando Rios, to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle of the 2001 season.
This deal brought Jason Schmidt and veteran outfielder John Vander Wal to the Giants. Schmidt would go on to win 78 games for the Giants in six years and was a three-time All-Star.
Vogelsong's career took a very different path. He was shuttled back and forth from Pittsburgh to various minor league cities.
Vogelsong played in Japan from 2007 to 2009 before returning to the U.S. in 2010, where he played in the minors for the Angels and Phillies organizations. After playing winter ball, Vogelsong signed with the Giants and opened the 2011 season in Fresno.
After an injury to Barry Zito opened the door, Vogelsong joined the Giants and pitched brilliantly. He was an All-Star and became a mainstay in the starting rotation. In 2011, he had a record of 13-7 with an ERA of 2.71 and WHIP of 1.252.
Determined to prove that 2011 was not a fluke, Vogelsong had a very successful 2012 season. He pitched a career high of 189.2 innings and compiled a record of 14-9 with an ERA of 3.37 and WHIP of 1.228.
Vogelsong started four postseason games for the Giants and was outstanding. He threw a total of 24.2 innings, allowing only three earned runs, 16 hits and 10 walks while striking out 21. Vogelsong compiled a 3-0 record with an ERA of 1.09 and WHIP of 1.054.
Let's take a more detailed view of Vogelsong's thoughts on the WBC and the Giants.