Ryan Vogelsong hopes to pitch for the Giants again by August. Whether he will be returning to a contending team is another matter. MLB.com's Chris Haft reports that Vogelsong had the splint removed from his fractured pinkie finger on Tuesday and he will now work on building up strength in the hand. The right-hander said he simply needs to regain flexibility at present, after over a month without really being able to move the hand properly.
"I'm trying to get some flexibility back in there," said Vogelsong, who's unlikely to resume pitching competitively for the Giants before August. "It's still pretty stiff right now."
Vogelsong suffered the injury on May 20th when he was hit by a pitch, forcing him to undergo surgery to insert pins in his hand to stabilise the bone, with a minimum 4-6 week timetable cited. Exactly a month later, he had the pins removed from his hand, leaving just the splint. Until Vogelsong builds up his hand strength and gets his flexibility back, he won't be able to grip pitches properly so it will still be a while before he can get back to throwing as normal.
The Giants are in danger of falling out of contention altogether if they do not turn their season around soon. Even though he had been awful (7.19 ERA), the World Series champions were 25-20 on the day Vogelsong was injured. They have gone 13-20 since, now sitting in fourth place in the NL West at 38-40. The only positive for the Giants is that none of the other teams in the division have taken control: the Arizona Diamondbacks are still only 3.5 games ahead at 41-36. Whoever goes to the playoffs from the division will likely need to do it as division winners, with the NL Central dominating the wild card standings. The Cardinals, Pirates and Reds are all more than 10 games over .500; in fact, the Cardinals and Pirates are tied for the best record in baseball (48-30).
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