The San Francisco Giants have agreed to terms on a one-year, $4 million with Ryan Vogelsong.
Vogelsong, 37, is coming off a 2014 season where he posted a 4.00 ERA, 1.278 WHIP, and a 151/58 K/BB ratio over 184.2 innings for the World Series champions.
It was a nice bounce back for the right-hander who was a train wreck in 2013 sporting a 5.73 ERA and 1.563 WHIP.
Vogelsong originally resurrected his career with San Francisco when he went 27-16 with a 3.05 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and a 297/123 K/BB ratio over 369.1 innings from 2011-2012 after he’d been out of big league ball since washing out as a reliever with Pittsburgh in 2006 season.
The Giants rotation appears loaded – and potentially overloaded – already with Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Jake Peavy, Tim Hudson, and Tim Lincecum in the projected starting rotation. Swingman Yusmeiro Petit is coming off a solid season of his own and would seemingly be first in line should a spot in the rotation open up.
Vogelsong will likely start the season working out of the bullpen in a role similar to Petit that sees him shifting between long relief and the occasional spot start.
If the Giants were being honest, they’d label his role for 2015 as “in-house insurance plan.”
While the rotation may appear to be set on the surface, Bumgarner is the only lock coming into the season; and that’s assuming there are no ill-effects from his heavy workload in the postseason.
Petit is coming off a fantastic year, but could be do for regression. Prior to his solid campaign in 2014, the right-hander had a carer 5.20 ERA, 1.397 WHIP, and 84 ERA+.
Lincecum and Peavy have both been mixed bags in recent years and it’s tough to imagine them both remaining effective for the entire season or having the ability to save the bullpen by pitching late into games.
Additionally, the Giants are currently banking on 40% of their starting rotation coming back from significant injuries; Cain had season-ending elbow surgery in 2014 and Hudson is coming off a right ankle surgery of his own.
In short, you can never have enough pitching.
And that’s exactly why Ryan Vogelsong is returning to San Francisco.