Ryan Vogelsong
Ryan Vogelsong
41-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Ryan Vogelsong in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor league contract with the Twins in January of 2017.
Steps away from baseball
PFree Agent  
September 11, 2017
Vogelsong will officially announce his retirement Sunday during a ceremony in San Francisco in advance of the Giants' game against the Diamondbacks, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
ANALYSIS
Vogelsong hasn't pitched anywhere this season after being cut by the Twins in spring training following his failed bid to win an Opening Day roster spot. The 39-year-old didn't draw much interest elsewhere, so he'll hang up his spikes and retire as a member of the Giants, with whom he won two World Series and earned his only All-Star nod in 2011. Vogelsong retires with a career 61-75 record, 4.48 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 289 big-league appearances (179 starts).
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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The Pirates surprisingly signed Vogelsong as a one-year stopgap to help bridge the starting rotation while their young stars matured in the minors. Unfortunately for Vogelsong, spring training sensation Juan Nicasio beat him out for the fifth starter's spot, banishing the veteran to the bullpen. When the 39-year-old finally started, he was hit in the face by a Jordan Lyles' pitch, nearly ending his career. After missing two and a half months, Vogelsong returned and compiled a 2.48 ERA in his first five starts (29 innings) back. He struggled thereafter (7.67 ERA, 1.75 WHIP in 31.1 IP) . He signed a minor league contract with Minnesota and will compete for a spot in the rotation this spring, but a rough September may signal the end is near for the World Series hero.
On the surface, Vogelsong's 2015 season looks like a disappointment when you look at his 9-11 record and 4.67 ERA. However, it wasn't all that bad if you were able to start him exclusively at home. Like many Giants' starters, his home/road splits are glaring. He posted a 3.07 ERA at AT&T Park compared to a 5.90 ERA on the road. Still, the overall results weren't strong enough to warrant standard league consideration. From an arsenal standpoint, he continues to rely on a 91 mph fastball with two breaking balls and a changeup. At this advanced stage of his career, he will need to induce groundballs and rely on excellent command to have success at the big league level. Also, the ballpark he ends up calling home will have a big impact on his 2016 fantasy value. If he ends up back in San Francisco or in another pitcher-friendly park, then he will have deep league appeal for whenever he pitches at home.
Vogelsong rejuvenated his career with San Francisco at age 33 and enjoyed a pair of strong seasons before crumbling in 2013. It was easy to think that the miracle run was toast as a fractured hand cost him two and a half months, his velocity plummeted and his strikeout rate bottomed out. How much of it was the hand and how much of it was a skills drop? His 2014 suggests the former was more to blame. He didn’t wow with a 4.00 ERA, but he took on a full workload, regained his strikeout rate and probably deserved something a bit better than that ERA when you look at the indicators. As a free agent, there is a worry that he leaves San Francisco and loses some of what spurred his rebirth, namely that home ballpark. He posted a 3.12 ERA in 366 innings at home the last four years, and it’d be even better without the 5.29 nightmare from 2013. After re-signing with the Giants in January, the song should be similar with the veteran right-hander in 2015.
Vogelsong chased away the skeptics after repeating his 2011 success in 2012, but that skepticism has returned after having a horrific 2013 season. He had a 7.19 ERA through the first couple months of the season, and when it looked like he was finally putting a dominant start together, he got hit by a pitch while trying to bunt and was out for a couple of months with a broken hand. Vogelsong returned in August and put up a 4.55 ERA in the second half, but it wasn't nearly enough to save a lost season. A likely cause of his poor results could be a drop in velocity of approximately one mph off of all of his pitches from a year ago. His two-seam fastball also didn't have as much bite as it did in 2012, and it led to a -9.4 wFB after he posted a 9.5 wFB in 2012 and a 16.3 wFB in 2011. It is important to note that Vogelsong pitched deep into the the 2012 postseason and also partook in the 2013 World Baseball Classic prior to the season, so his drop in velocity could have been the result of a tired arm. It could also simply be that he is 36 years old, and his window for dominant pitching closed quickly after being opened so late in his career. Re-signed by the Giants in December, Vogelsong will attempt to chew up innings every fifth day again in 2014.
Vogelsong followed up his surprise 2011 campaign with a strong performance in 2012. As expected, his ERA increased to 3.37, but his strikeout rate also increased to 7.5 K/9 while he lowered his walk rate to a career-best 2.9 BB/9. His below average BABIP (.284) and HR/FB rate (8.2 percent) fall right in line with his career rates, and he has pitched extremely well in AT&T Park since last year (2.15 in 2011 and 2.79 in 2012). In addition, his below average line drive rate (18.5 percent) helped to contribute to his BABIP. It is more likely that Vogelsong will finish with an ERA above 3.50 this season as his peripherals will somewhat regress.
Vogelsong finished 2011 with a 2.71 ERA and 1.252 WHIP, and while his 139:61 K:BB ratio over 179.2 innings wasn't overly impressive, he was no fluke. There's little doubt his ERA will climb next season after leaving 80.4 percent of his baserunners stranded and carrying a .280 BABIP, but he'll enter 2012 as the Giants' No. 4 starter, and there's no reason to expect him to be a major bust, even if regression is a certainty. Just make sure not to draft him off last year's numbers, but he's in the right park to remain plenty valuable, especially if others in your league don't believe in him at all.
The Pirates are considering Vogelsong for the fifth starter's spot after he showed promise out of the bullpen with a decent second-half performance in 2005. Pittsburgh's primary return in the ill-fated 2001 Jason Schmidt deal, Vogelsong has gotten every possible chance to succeed at the major-league level. He hasn't been good. In 2004, he sported the major's worst earned run average among qualified starters, with a 6.50 ERA in 133 innings. Last year he started off on the same track, posting a pre All-Star game mark of 5.49. He cleaned things up a bit after the break, with a 3.49 ERA. It will take a lot to undo the last couple years of futility. He's always had the stuff to be successful, but has yet to put it all together.
Vogelsong secured the fifth spot in the Pittsburgh starting rotation after his outstanding performance in Spring Training last year, but he struggled with his command all season and lost his starting job to Sean Burnett before returning to the rotation after Kris Benson was traded in July. He’ll compete for the fifth rotation spot once again this spring, but unless he is light’s out, he figures to head north as a swing-man.
Vogelsong bounced back well enough from elbow troubles last season, but his upside is limited. Acquired from the Giants in the 2001 Jason Schmidt give-away, he has showed flashes of competence, but he will be just one of many fighting for the job as Pittsburgh's fifth starter.
Elbow surgery at the end of 2001 cost Vogelsong most of 2002. He made a dozen starts in the minors, almost none of them effective. He’ll have his ups and downs in 2003, and the Pirates would do well to let him work through them at Nashville until he has some success.
More Fantasy News
Granted release
PFree Agent  
March 21, 2017
Vogelsong asked for and was granted his release from the Twins on Tuesday, Rhett Bolinger of MLB.com reports.
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Struggles in Saturday's spring start
PMinnesota Twins  
March 19, 2017
Vogelsong gave up two runs over three innings in Saturday's spring training loss to Boston. He has a 7.27 ERA with a 5:5 K:BB in 8.2 innings this spring. He reached just 89 mph with his fastball during Saturday's outing, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
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Still being considered for rotation spot
PMinnesota Twins  
March 12, 2017
Manager Paul Molitor insists Vogelsong is only a candidate for a rotation spot and will not compete for a bullpen role, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
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Signs minor league contract with Minnesota
PMinnesota Twins  
January 11, 2017
Vogelsong signed a minor league contract with Minnesota that includes an invitation to spring training, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
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Allows one run over five innings in no-decision
PPittsburgh Pirates  
October 3, 2016
Vogelsong settled for a no-decision after allowing one run on five hits and three walks in five innings against the Cardinals on Sunday. He struck out one.
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