Vogelsong determined to 'contribute during crunch time'

Vogelsong determined to 'contribute during crunch time'
May 22, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Ryan Vogelsong hopes to start exercising to maintain shoulder strength within a few days. (AP)

Programming note: Giants-Nationals coverage gets underway today with Giants Pregame Live at noon on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – Ryan Vogelsong isn’t circling a date on the calendar.

It’s too soon for that. He has pins sticking out of his pinkie finger, his cast covers his right elbow down to his two smallest digits, and the whole thing is secured to his chest in a sling.

But Vogelsong promises one thing: He won’t take his dear, sweet time coming back.

“Knowing what I went through with Tommy John, they’ll want to back me off,” the Giants’ All-Star right-hander said. “It’s in my nature to try to do a little bit more.”

Right now, there’s not much Vogelsong can do other than chug bottled water and try not to gain any weight. He can’t begin cardio work for a few more days because sweating puts him at greater risk for an infection, since the pins are sticking out of his finger as they stabilize the two fractures he sustained when hit by a pitch Monday night.

But within a few days, Vogelsong expects to start being active. Eventually, he plans to maintain shoulder strength by using ankle weights around his wrist as he does his regular rotator cuff and scapula exercises.

The official prognosis is six to eight weeks to get Vogelsong back on a mound. Dr. Tim McAdams gave Vogelsong some specifics about expected recovery time, but it was shortly after the surgery Tuesday and the right-hander was too foggy to remember most of what he was told.

He hopes the exercises can reduce the amount of time it’ll take him to rebuild his pitch count. 

“Once I get closer and know how the bone is healing up, we can start setting goals at that point,” he said.

For now, Vogelsong plans to stay with the team. That’s one form of therapy.

“I still don’t think it’s set in yet,” he said. “I think once I starts missing starts, maybe (it will). The thing that can help the most, really, is for the team to keep playing well. That definitely will help. That way we’ll get this right and healthy and I'll come back and contribute during crunch time.”

Vogelsong said he isn’t in pain – it was more shock than pain even when he got hit – and he’s sleeping about as well as he usually does. His little boy, Ryder, keeps asking to make sure Daddy is OK.

“I’m all right,” said Vogelsong, who plans to remain a visible presence around the team. “I’m staying. I can bring some things to the table, even though I’m not on the field.”

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Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt were held out of the lineup Wednesday against Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

Bruce Bochy said Sandoval is “washed out” from a respiratory ailment, which makes his 464-foot, walk-off home run all the more impressive from Tuesday night.

As for Belt, he is dealing with a stiff back. It’s not major and he could play, said Bochy, but Brett Pill is back on the team and Gonzalez is one of the league’s tougher lefties. “So it makes sense,” the manager said.

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Marco Scutaro enters with a 19-game hitting streak – the longest in the majors this season, and one away from matching the 20-gamer that he had to end last season.

He’s just 2 for 17 lifetime against Gonzalez, in case you were curious.

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The Giants’ home run count is up to 22 in 24 home games. You’ll recall they hit a remarkably low 31 home runs in 81 regular-season home games last year. 

The Giants also have homered in seven consecutive home games.

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Congratulations to Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti, who will be inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday. He’ll join a class that includes former A’s owner Walter A. Haas Jr., former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown and former 49ers tight end Brent Jones.

Righetti played 16 years in the major leagues and was one of those rare talents who performed at an All-Star level as both a starter and closer. They still can’t play a game at Yankee Stadium on July 4 without thinking of his Independence Day no-hitter against the Red Sox.

And of course, Righetti has built a reputation as one of the game’s finest pitching coaches. He’s from a great Bay Area sports family; his father Leo was a shortstop for the San Francisco Seals in the old PCL.

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