Ryan Vogelsong was one of the most consistently excellent pitchers in baseball through the first four months of the season, throwing 143 innings with a league-leading 2.27 ERA through August 8 while allowing more than four runs zero times in 21 starts.
Since then he’s been a mess and after another poor outing against the Rockies last night Vogelsong has allowed 28 runs in his last 26 innings. By comparison he allowed 38 total runs in his first 143 innings.
The good news is that his 32/7 K/BB ratio during this 26-inning stretch suggests he’s still pitching much better than the ugly 9.57 ERA would suggest. The bad news is that he’s served up six homers in 125 plate appearances after giving up a grand total of 10 homers in his first 580 plate appearances.
“I’m costing us games right now and I’m not really happy about it,” Vogelsong said, via Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. However, he added that there’s nothing wrong with him physically and “I’ve been through way too much in this game to let six not good starts keep me from where I want to get with this team.”
Baggarly also asked Buster Posey if he noticed anything different with Vogelsong, but the All-Star catcher explained that “the stuff is there, velocity is there … he’s throwing the ball as well as ever, I feel like.”
Vogelsong is scheduled to make his next start Sunday at home against the Diamondbacks, who knocked him out of the game in the fourth inning two starts ago.
Tacoma Rainiers’ broadcaster Mike Curto reports that the White Sox have acquired veteran right-handed relievers Mark Lowe and Jean Machi from the Mariners in exchange for cash considerations. Neither team has officially confirmed the deal yet.
Lowe, 34, signed a minor league deal with the Mariners in late March. He pitched to a 6.23 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma and tacked on a 4.6 BB/9 and 8.5 SO/9 through 39 innings. He last appeared in the majors with the Tigers, and finished his run in 2016 with a 7.11 ERA through 49 1/3 innings before getting released by the club prior to the 2017 season.
Machi, 35, struggled to find a place in the Mariners’ bullpen this season. A nerve issue in his thumb derailed his efforts at the start of 2017, and he was outrighted to Triple-A after pitching to a 1.17 ERA through 7 2/3 innings in Seattle. In Tacoma, the right-hander’s numbers weren’t too shabby: he split his efforts between the rotation and bullpen and worked a collective 3.44 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 through 36 2/3 innings.
Lowe and Machi will help flesh out a White Sox bullpen that has been depleted by recent injuries and trades. They’re expected to report to Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte and could see time in the big leagues by the end of the season.
Yoenis Cespedes told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he wants to finish his career with the Athletics, according to an exclusive interview released on Friday. The Mets’ 31-year-old outfielder praised Oakland manager Bob Melvin, telling Slusser, “I don’t think there’s a better manager than Melvin” and adding that while he didn’t know if a return to Oakland would be possible, his love for the city had not faded.
Melvin, for his part, said he wasn’t surprised that the slugger wants another go-round with his first major league club, even if only as a final hurrah. Cespedes hit well over two and a half seasons with the A’s, compiling a cumulative .262/.318/.470 batting line from 2012 to 2014 and enjoying two postseason runs with the club before he was traded for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes in 2014.
There’s been relatively little for Cespedes to complain about since his departure from Oakland, of course: he turned in a career-best performance in 2015, slashing .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs and 6.7 fWAR in back-to-back gigs with the Tigers and Mets, and netted a whopping three-year, $75 million contract prior to the 2016 season. Still, there’s something special about the A’s, as the slugger relayed to teammate Jerry Blevins:
I told Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m going to play, but I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland.’ I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but that’s my goal.
Whether or not Cespedes gets his wish, it’s unlikely he’ll pursue any kind of deal with the A’s for the time being. He’s still owed $23.75 million in 2017 and 2018 and isn’t scheduled to hit free agency until 2019.