Ryan Vogelsong is falling apart, “not really happy about it”

4 Comments

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.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

Getty Images
3 Comments

MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.