SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After a 2011 comeback story worthy of aHollywood movie, Ryan Vogelsongs start to the 2012 season could use a re-make.The San Francisco Giants projected No. 4 starter has yet to pitch in the CactusLeague with a strained back, but made significant progress Wednesday by throwingaround 45 pitches in a bullpen session.
REWIND: Back strain slows Vogelsong's spring
Vogelsong arrived at the back field at Scottsdale Stadium around 10 a.m. andstarted loosening up with bullpen catcher Taira Uematsu. He overthrew Uematsuon two straight long tosses and was audibly frustrated before returning tomound distance and throwing from the stretch position. Pitching coach DaveRighetti, bullpen coach Mark Gardner, and head trainer Dave Groeschner were allobserving Vogelsongs routine.The 34-year-old right-hander, who went 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA last season after along big-league layoff, then moved to the bullpen to ramp up his throwing.RELATED: Ryan Vogelsong 2011 game logsSplitsNews
Vogelsong threw about 20-25 pitches off the mound to Uematsu, then took a waterbreak while talking to Righetti. General manager Brian Sabean arrived toobserve just as the man he signed to a two-year, 8 million contract wasfinishing up his first round of throws.Manager Bruce Bochy was next to arrive as Vogelsong started throwing again.Bochy stepped into the batters box as both a left-handed and right-handedhitter to see the movement on Vogelsongs pitches and give him a more realisticsimulation of game action.On Vogelsongs last pitch of the bullpen session, Bochy yelled out Nice Vogeybefore walking to the mound to talk with his starter and pitching coach.Bochy said earlier this week that Vogelsong would face livehitters next before he would consider allowing him to make his Cactus Leaguedebut.The Giants dont need a fifth starter until April 15th against thePittsburgh Pirates, so theres a chance that Vogelsong will start the season onthe disabled list to give the Giants an extra roster spot for anotheroutfielder or backup catcher.If Vogelsong spends an extended period of time on the shelf, the Giants wouldlook at either Eric Surkamp or Brian Burres to fill his rotation spot.
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