In a move that could have long-lasting effects on the NL West race this season, the San Francisco Giants placed starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong on the 15-Day disabled list with a broken right hand on Tuesday. Vogelsong was injured while at the plate on Monday night after swinging at an inside fastball from Washington’s Craig Stammen, and the fact that he was injured while off of the mound makes the injury that much more painful.
Vogelsong has struggled for the great majority of the season, posting a 7.19 ERA in 9 starts, but he was cruising along to his best start of the season (5 innings, 0 ER) before exiting the game after the injury. The Giants have been able to sustain success (as they are just 1 game out of the NL West lead) without him at peak form, but with Barry Zito struggling, they were looking to Vogelsong to right the ship.
The proposed timetable for Vogelsong’s injury is 4-to-6 weeks but it is expected that he will need a rehab stint before returning to the big league club. That could place his return in late July/early August, and with the Giants in the race for a playoff spot, the injury really stings.
In addition to Vogelsong’s injury, the Giants also lost reliever Santiago Casilla to the DL on Tuesday due to a right knee issues. Casilla was the team’s default closer during part of the 2012 season, but he has labored noticeably during 2013, and Sergio Romo is locked into the closer’s spot at this stage.
The Giants trail the Arizona Diamondbacks by just one game entering Tuesday night’s play, and while the hit to their pitching isn’t a small one, the bigger concern is likely the performance of their “studs” in Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. They will certainly wish Vogelsong a speedy recovery, but all eyes will be on the Giants rotation (and their 4.78 collective ERA) as a whole as the calendar turns to Summer.