SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Ryan Vogelsong is hoping for a repeat ofhis smashing 2011 season. At least hes starting it the same way, albeit underdifferent circumstances.
The Giants are planning to have Vogelsong start the seasonopener for Triple-A Fresno on April 5 at Tucson, GM Brian Sabean told me. Then Vogelsong would make one more rehabstart for the Grizzlies and be lined up to take the ball when the Giants need afifth starter April 15 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at AT&T Park.
Vogelsong was last years opening-day starter for Fresno, too.He was among the last roster trims but his impressive spring won the confidenceof the coaching staff and his contract was purchased after Barry Zito sprainedhis ankle a few starts into the season.
The Giants signed Vogelsong to a two-year, 8.3 millioncontract with an option for 2014 and he was determined in his offseason workouts to build on his breakthrough season. But his spring didnt get off to a good start.He missed three weeks because of a lower back strain and only made his CactusLeague debut on Monday. It was a solid outing, though, as he had snap on hisbreaking pitches in 2 23 innings.
As it turns out, that start will be Vogelsongs only tuneup against major leaguers.Because the Giants must backdate his DL assignment, Vogelsong cannot face theCincinnati Reds on Saturday. Hell throw in minor league camp, instead.
Vogelsong said he came out of Mondays start with no issues,and his teammates were encouraged.
He looked really good, catcher Buster Posey said. I knowhe had to be happy with it. He looked really crisp.