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

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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.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.