In a 2-1 victory over the NL West division rival Rockies, the San Francisco Giants Ryan Vogelsong impressed again.
Vogelsong gave up just four hits and a walk, while striking out seven and allowing just one earned run in eight solid innings pitched.
Vogelsong has made one of the best comeback stories of the year. He was originally drafted by the Giants in the fifth round of the 1998 draft. After that, he was sent to Pittsburgh in a trade that brought Jason Schmidt to San Francisco and had Tommy John surgery at age 24.
In three years of pitching for the Pirates, he posted a 5.87 ERA. He then spent three years pitching in Japan before returning to the United States.
As noted by Steve Adams of MLBTR, “what Vogelsong has done this year is a prime example of the value of minor league deals.” Vogelsong, who signed a minor league contract with the Giants in the offseason, has proved to be a very low risk, high reward deal.
If a 4–1 record with a 1.68 ERA in eight starts does not impress you, watching him attack each opponent he faces will. He was not a raw talent when he was drafted in 1998. His delivery is not unorthodox or deceptive, and historically, he has not had great command.
But he knows how to pitch. Vogelsong brings over a decade of experience with him to the mound. He applies strategic movement, location and speed to each batter. His unbelievable performance this year has proven that.
In his only loss of the season, he allowed just one earned run.
Perhaps not even Giants GM Brian Sabean could have predicted Vogelsong’s remarkable return. However the 33-year-old right-hander has endured 13 years of struggle with outstanding determination.
It just might make sense that he would have the practice of pitching down to an art.
Although the return of Barry Zito is still a few weeks away, Bruce Bochy has already confirmed that Ryan Vogelsong is not going anywhere and will be starting every fifth game.