Ryan Vogelsong: Cinderella Man


Ryan Vogelsong‘s comeback this season has been incredible. He has gone from seeming like a pitcher with a teetering career, to a potential career ending injury, and now he has become a good starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

When Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound at PNC Park, “Cinderella Man” by Eminem plays over the ballpark’s public address system. Every starting pitcher in the Major Leagues takes the mound to a song of their choosing. However, there are very few songs quite as fitting as Vogelsong’s.

In his professional career Ryan Vogelsong has seen it all. He started his career as a number five starter/long man for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants, then he pitched in Japan for a few years, and then he returned to the Major Leagues and helped pitched the Giants to two World Series Championships. Then in this 2016 season, he faced arguably his biggest hurdle yet.

On May 23rd Vogelsong made a spot start against the Colorado Rockies. Vogelsong lasted just two innings in this game despite not allowing a run. This is because in the bottom of the second inning he came to the base with the bases loaded, and was struck in the eye with a Jordan Lyles pitch.

When this happened many people, myself included, thought Ryan Vogelsong’s career might be over. Vogelsong is 39 years old, he just got hit in the eye with a pitch, and he was the Pirates’ long reliever. So, there was reason to believe his career might be over. However, Vogelsong had other ideas.

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After months of rehab, Ryan Vogelsong returned to the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 4th. On August 4th, Vogelsong started for the Pirates down in Atlanta. And on that night, Vogelsong was brilliant.

Ryan Vogelsong held the Braves to just one run on three hits, one walk, and six strikeouts in six innings pitched. Vogelsong then backed this up with another stellar start against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night. In this start against the Padres, Vogelsong held the Friars to two runs, both unearned, on three hits and one walk in six innings pitched.

After his outing on Wednesday night Ryan Vogelsong has pitched 33 2/3 innings this season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In those 33 2/3 innings pitched he is averaging 7.22 K/9, 3.21 BB/9, and 0.80 HR/9. On top of this he has a 1.19 WHIP, 2.67 ERA, 3.84 FIP, and a 4.16 xFIP.

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As a starting pitcher this season, Ryan Vogelsong has been even better. He has made four starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, and has pitched 19 innings. In these 19 innings pitched he has 0.74 WHIP and a 0.95 ERA. It goes without saying that Vogelsong has earned a few more starts.

When the Pirates signed Ryan Vogelsong over the winter, I was against the signing since day one. However, my opinion has changed. Once again, Ray Searage has worked his magic. This time it has been with Vogelsong.

Furthermore, Ryan Vogelsong is a great person and an awesome teammate. When you combine that with his great comeback story this season, and throw in his success, Ryan Vogelsong has become one of my favorite Pirates. Vogelsong is truly a ‘Cinderella Man.’