Vogelsong vies for starting job

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Seattle Times photo

Ryan Vogelsong had been drafted before some of his teammates had ever touched a baseball bat.

At 39, the veteran right-hander is trying to earn a spot in the starting rotation for the Minnesota Twins. He says he is much better as a starter than as a reliever. “It’s a huge difference for me; I don’t know what it is,” Vogelsong told Mike Berardino of twincities.com. “I don’t like one bit that I’m not better when I come out of the bullpen.”

With a fastball that is yet to hit 90 mph this spring, Vogelsong will have to rely on precise control to make his pitches effective. With sub-par velocity and an inability to pitch well out of the bullpen, he says he knows that his odds of breaking camp with the big-league club are slim. For now, he says he is just doing everything he can to impress the front office and show he can still pitch at a major-league level.

“I’m just trying to check off the boxes,” he said. “At the same time, I know there’s a competition, so there’s definitely a fine line of where you go, ‘I’m working on stuff but I need to get results too.’ I think the powers that be here are smart enough to see spin and pitches being executed and doing the things you need to do to win a ballgame.”

Vogelsong, who is in camp on a minor-league deal, faces long odds of making the team. But with Trevor May now out for the season, Vogelsong may just have a chance.

-Ethan Kibbe

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