SAN FRANCISCO –- In more ways than one, Ryan Vogelsong is a thirty-something pitcher coming up on free agency.
He is 37 years old.
He also is coming off a season in which he made a career-best 32 starts. But despite the age and workload, he feels very, very young.
“The one thing I was really happy about, other than winning the whole thing, on a personal level, I felt physically strong all year,” said Vogelsong, who threw 184 2/3 innings. “I might have been off mechanically at times and that can affect your stuff or velocity. But I never felt tired or worn down.”
Vogelsong was 8-13 with a 3.996 ERA that will be rounded up to 4.00 on his baseball card, and that pretty much told the story of his season. The last regular-season run he allowed came on a broken-bat, RBI single. He’s the guy who started the tarp game at Wrigley Field. Giants manager Bruce Bochy has said Vogelsong pitched much better than his overall numbers would indicate.
“I figure as bad as my luck was this year, I should win 26 next year,” said Vogelsong, although he’d still expect Madison Bumgarner to win more. “Bum has the cheat code to life.”
Will Vogelsong be back? He sure hopes so.
“I mean, where else would I rather be?” Vogelsong said. “They got priorities to take care of before me and that’s fine. Whenever they get to me, they get to me.”
Vogelsong can say one thing for certain: He’s going to pitch next season.
“Last year I felt I needed to come back here and prove something, and you know what? I feel that way again,” said Vogelsong, who nearly signed with the Phillies after the Giants declined his option last year. “I feel like I threw the ball well a lot of the time this season and didn’t get the results. So I’ve got something to prove. And I think you guys know me well enough to know whenever that’s the case, it’s usually a good thing.”
Vogelsong thoroughly enjoyed his time at the microphone during the ceremony on the steps of city hall, punctuating his remarks with a loud, “VOGEY OUT!”
“Well, that was a little weird,” Buster Posey said. “We’re all a little weird here, though.”
Considering that Matt Cain is coming off two surgeries, Tim Lincecum is a flickering candle, Jake Peavy is a free agent and there isn’t much upper-level pitching ready in the system, the Giants certainly need more help in their rotation. So Vogey might not be out for good.
“It stinks to not know where you’re going to be,” Vogelsong said, “but it’s exciting not knowing what’s going to happen.”