UPDATE: BRUCE BOCHY SAYS VOGELSONG COULD START HIS REHAB AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK WITH SAN JOSE, ACCORDING TO ALEX PAVLOVIC OF THE SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS.
Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong is expected to begin a rehab assignment as early as July 30th, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. The right-hander is attempting to return to the rotation from a broken pinky on his pitching hand that has kept him out since May 20th.
From the information gathered by Schulman, Vogelsong will join Double-A affiliate Richmond for a six-game homestand July 30th-August 4th. The Giants will be on the same coast at the same time, playing road games against Philadelphia and Tampa. The proximity should facilitate scouting Vogey’s return and have him check in with team doctors in person. If one or both potential starts go well, the 35-year-old could rejoin the rotation by the second week of August.
Before being hit by the pitch that put him under the knife, Vogelsong was in the middle of a back-to-Earth season that saw his ERA more than double his 2012 production. His only truly great start was against the Nationals, where he cruised through five innings before – you guessed it – breaking his pinky in the batter’s box.
When his recovery is complete, I fully expect Vogelsong to be better than what his numbers have shown this season. We have two full seasons of “New Vogey”, a pitcher that can throw four pitches at any time around the edges of the strike zone. Whether or not that skill has eroded with age, I can’t tell you. But there is an asterisk next to every Giants pitcher not named Bumgarner, so getting any production out of the last two months of Ryan Vogelsong’s steal of a contract would be gravy.
Oh, what asterisks you say?
Matt Cain: Bone chips floating in his elbow, 5.06 ERA
Tim Lincecum: Might be traded, better in releif
Chad Gaudin: What happens in Vegas sometimes gets reported to police
Barry Zito: Has given up home runs to Anthony Recker and Ed Lucas this season. And no, those guys aren’t umpires. They’re players. I checked.