Better late than never, I suppose. Oh well.
The truth is that with HOF season over, the Hot Stove league fairly calm, and pitchers and catchers still a few weeks from reporting, it's a fairly quiet time, baseball-wise. Not to mention that we're right in the middle of the NFL playoffs (and at this point I'm still expecting another half-dozen bowl games...I really miss the old college football schedule, with all the great games on New Year's to actually finish off the season).
What have I got? Well -- Ryan Vogelsong? Really? A non-roster invite from the Giants. How about that?
I see that he was in Japan for three years, 2007-2009, and then bounced around two different AAA teams last year. His K/9 was terrific, but his BB/9 was awful...at his second stop, mostly out of the bullpen, he issued 40 BBs in 58 IP (with 73 Ks). You know what? You, and I, don't care about how good he is at this point. As a non-roster invite, he's Just Another Arm. If he's pitching well, he'll be part of bullpen depth; if not, he'll either stay in Fresno, or be gone entirely.
No, what's interesting about him, if anything is, would be that he's still around. Astonishing, isn't it? Let's see...he was a 2001 Grizzlie. Other pitching prospects on that staff were Kurt Ainsworth and Ryan Jensen. Joe Nathan was there as part of his comeback, and there were plenty of no-names and fringe or former major leaguers. Vogelsong was 23 that year. Jensen was 25. He had a whole year in the rotation the next year, last pitched in the majors in 2005, and ended up with three stops, including an independent league, in 2006. Ainsworth was 22. He actually started seven games for the 2004 Orioles (ERA over nine, alas), and that (along with three appearances in the minors in '04) was it.
Let's see...one more scattershot way of looking at it. Vogelsong was born in 1977. Also born in 1977? Well, the best is Roy Halliday. But the wash-outs include Colter Bean, Rob Bell, Paxton Crawford, Luke Hudson, Mike Maroth, Josh Towers, and Kip Wells. Also Adam Eaton, and Mark Mulder. I didn't check to see how many of that group are still chugging away in the minors.
I'm sure there's some kind of lesson in all of this, but I don't have one, right now. I don't know...something about how arms are so vulnerable, or perseverance sometimes paying off, or I really don't know. Just shocked me that Vogelsong is still pitching.