Aug 23, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (32) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
When the Pirates traded Charlie Morton to the Philadelphia Phillies, they needed to find a replacement for him. Neil Huntington fixed the hole by signing veteran right hander Ryan Vogelsong to a one year contract this off-season.
Last season, Vogelsong struggled much like Niese did with the Mets. Vogelsong’s final numbers for 2015 were a 9-11 record with a 4.67 ERA. His only month with a winning record last season was May when he went 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA. Other than that month, Vogelsong struggled mightily.
Vogelsong broke out in the 2011 season when he posted a 13-7 record and a 2.71 ERA on his way to his first and only all-star game of his career. He followed that up with a 14-9 2012 campaign and a 3.37 ERA helping the Giants win a world championship.
Vogelsong pitched for the Pirates earlier in his career and was not very successful. In his Pirates career Vogelsong went 10-34 with his ERA consistently in the sixes. This time around he is quoted as saying he is “determined to make things right” in an interview with MLB writer Adam Berry.
Vogelsong has had trouble getting swings and misses with only 108 strikeouts last season. When the other team has put the ball in play things have not gone well for the righty. His BABIP (Batting average on balls in play) was .301 last season meaning balls that are being hit are finding holes.
Searage will have to wave his magic wand once again and try to get Vogelsong’s strikeouts up so that not as many balls are put in play. The Pirates defense will also have to be reliable and make plays. With the many shifts the Pirates perform being in position will be key when Vogelsong is on the mound.
In 2016, expect Vogelsong to have a record of 8-10 with an ERA around 4.20. Vogelsong will probably not be a main stay in the Pirates rotation all season as Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon are knocking on the door. However, if he can prove to be consistent, he could work his way into this rotation everyday.
Next: Jeff Locke