Giants and Ryan Vogelsong working toward a one-year deal

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It appeared that Ryan Vogelsong was closing in on a deal with the Astros just a couple of days ago, but the Giants jumped back into the mix last night and now Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that it looks like a reunion will come to fruition.

Assuming the Giants get it done, it’s expected to be a one-year deal. Tim Hudson is coming off right ankle surgery and Matt Cain had season-ending elbow surgery last year, so Vogelsong is good insurance to have around. If everybody is healthy, the defending World Series champs plan to go with Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Jake Peavy, Hudson, and Tim Lincecum in their rotation and keep Yusmiero Petit in his swingman role.

Vogelsong, 37, is coming off a 4.00 ERA and 151/58 K/BB ratio in 184 2/3 innings across 32 starts last season.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.