San Francisco Giants: Can The Rotation Recover From A Poor 2013?

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5. Ryan Vogelsong

Ryan Vogelsong has had one heck of a journey during his time playing baseball. Originally drafted by the Giants in ’99, he spent years bouncing around the majors and even spent three years in Japan. When the Giants called him back in 2011, he was a revelation. In 2011 and 2012, he pitched to the tune of ERA’s of 2.71 and 3.37 respectively, as a fifth starter.

2013 was a different story. After pitching in the World Baseball Classic, Vogelsong struggled to find his rhythm to begin the season. As the fiery competitor that he is, he pushed himself too hard in his efforts to get back on track, which messed up his mechanics even further. Just as he was finding his groove, he broke his pinky, and missed eight weeks due to the injury.

Vogelsong was decent in his return, but one has to think that he has little time remaining to prove himself. He had a disappointing 2013 season, and the Giants signed him to a one-year deal laced with incentives. Along with Lincecum, Vogelsong is one of the Giants’ biggest enigmas because you just don’t what you’re going to get out of him. As the fifth starter, there are relatively low expectations. But if the Giants are to contend in 2014, they need him to be the force he was in 2011 and 2012.

Similarly to Cain, Vogelsong suffered from a fatigued arm last season. Because he forced the issue, his mechanics suffered. In likely his final season with the team that drafted him and believed in him, watch for Vogelsong to roar back as one of the best fifth starters in the majors.

Projected 2014 ERA: 3.78