SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.-- Matt Cain’s return to the rotation bumped Ryan Vogelsong to the bullpen, leading to an anxious moment Monday. The Giants were going down quickly in the bottom of the second, and for a moment, Vogelsong found himself short on time to warm up in the bullpen.
“I was panicking a little today,” he later said. “That bottom of the second was pretty tough. Somebody got a two-out hit that saved me. I wasn’t near close.”
The somebody was Matt Duffy. Brandon Belt grounded the first pitch of the frame to second baseman Howie Kendrick and Adam Duvall struck out on three pitches, but Duffy’s single to right gave Vogelsong just enough breathing room to get fully lathered up before his first relief appearance of the spring.
This is Vogelsong’s new reality, and he’s still adjusting to the little things that go with moving from the rotation to the bullpen. Given the health issues some Giants starters faced coming into camp, Vogelsong likely will end up making quite a few starts this season. Yusmeiro Petit, last year’s sixth man, started 12 times. For now, however, Vogelsong is adjusting to life in the bullpen.
“It’s going to be one of those things I’ll figure out,” he said of his warm-up routine.
Vogelsong hasn’t had any conversations with coaches about when and how he’ll be used, but manager Bruce Bochy said the two will sit down soon.
“It’s an adjustment on his part and it will be on our part,” Bochy said. “I’ll talk to him. We’ll see where we’re at at the end of spring training. We don’t have anything etched in stone. I’ll talk to him and give him some time (to get warm) because he is a little different. I may slow the game down to be honest, to make sure he is ready.”
Regardless of how he’s used, Vogelsong expects to see positive results.
“It’s been a while since I’ve felt like this” on the mound,” he said. “I’m pretty excited about it.”
Catcher Buster Posey caught all three of Vogelsong’s innings and said he looked sharp and was peppering both sides of the plate.
“It looks like he’s in great shape,” Posey said. “He’s normally in great shape, but he seems like he’s really strong right now.”
Vogelsong struck out four in three innings but also gave up two runs, both coming on Yasiel Puig’s homer to left. Vogelsong felt the curveball he threw Puig was a good pitch, and said the Dodgers right fielder just put a good swing on it.