Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

May 20, 2013
UPDATED: Giants' Vogelsong suffers fracture on pitching hand

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong suffered a fractured right (pitching) hand Monday night when he was hit by pitch on a swing in the fifth inning of the Giants' 8-0 win over the Washington Nationals.

Vogelsong grimaced as the ball appeared to catch him squarely on the top of the hand. He bent over clutching the hand and left the field accompanied by trainer Dave Groeschner and manager Bruce Bochy. The Giants announced the fracture several innings later.

Vogelsong said he suffered a dislocated joint on the knuckle of his right pinky finger and two fractures, one each above and below the knuckle. He will undergo surgery Tuesday at Stanford. Manager Bruce Bochy said Vogelsong is probably looking at a recovery time of four to six weeks.

Vogelsong, who had pitched five scoreless innings in his best start of the season, said he immediately thought the hand was broken.

"It stinks," Vogelsong said. "It stinks, especially because it's been so rough. To go out there and feel like my old self again, be throwing like that, it's tough."

Vogelsong, who came in with an 8.06 ERA in eight starts, retired the first eight hitters he faced. He stranded runners on first and second in both the third and fifth innings -- a mark of his success last year, when opposing hitters batted just .227 against him with runners in scoring position. By completing five innings, he earned his second win of the year.

"It's really a shame because tonight was the Vogey that we know, it's the way he threw all of last year," Bochy said. "It's a tough one."

Bochy said the Giants had not yet discussed what to do with Vogelsong's rotation spot. He said long reliever Chad Gaudin is a candidate, but the Giants feel Gaudin is "pretty valuable in the bullpen."

Bochy said the Giants will know more about recovery time for Vogelsong following the surgery. Vogelsong said he thinks he'll be able to keep up with range of motion and arm strength exercises while the finger heals.

"I haven't really had it sink in yet," he said. "But I'll be back. No question about it."

Vogelsong said if there's a silver lining in this, it's that the injured finger is the one used least to grip and apply pressure to the ball while pitching.

"We're not talking about Tommy John or anything," he said. "So basically as fast as I can get it to heal so I can start throwing again."

Making it all the more frustrating was that Vogelsong said he had worked with the Giants' staff to address a host of mechanical issues recently and Monday's start was "the best I've felt in a long time, from a mental aspect and physical aspect."

"It's a good place to start, I guess, when I come back," he said.

Bochy said Vogelsong was "down," but was still waiting to congratulate the team in the clubhouse when they came in after the game.

"This is going to be a little while, but these things happen unfortunately," Bochy said. "You hate to see them happen. But he'll be back, hopefully in a couple months."

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Email: mkawahara@sacbee.com.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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