Giants Face New Obstacle Without Vogey
The question now for a team who's pitching staff was already working it's way out of a funk before this injury, is what do they do know? Wouldn't you know it, Vogey had been the Giants worst starter heading into his start Monday night, but coincidentally was turning in his best effort to date with a 5 inning, 3-hit taming of the powerful Washington Nationals. He was starting to look like the pre-2013 Vogey, hitting his spot with his low-90's fastball and showing complete command with that curve and change. Who knows if this was the first step towards him regaining his form or not, but nevertheless, we'll have to wait until July to see what kind of pitcher he'll be after this surgery. For a pitcher to have a fracture like that in his throwing hand than come back in be successful within a month or so seems a little optimistic, but Vogey is one guy I'm not counting out. This does leave, however, the question as to what the Giants will do with Vogey's rotation spot until he is ready to return to the team. Chad Gaudin will be the immediate replacement, and the Giants may give him a few starts to see if he can hold that down, but he's done such a good job in the bullpen that they may have a hard time finding an adequate replacement for him there. Especially now with Santiago Casilla on the shelf as well.
Not only is this injury causing a big hole in the starting rotation, but it could end up taking away arguably the Giants best reliever (not named Romo), to date. Now, the Giants have two upcoming off-days, including Thursday, and may not need a 5th starter for another couple of weeks, but eventually they're going to need someone to step in and take 5+ starts (assuming the timeline is correct). If they do decide to keep Gaudin in the pen, which is what I'm hoping will be the choice, the top couple names down in Fresno are hardly banging the door down to the big leagues. We talked a bit about Michael Kickham and Chris Heston as fall-backs a week ago after the Giants starters had that pitiful roadie in Toronto and Colorado, but again, those two just aren't pitching up to expectations in Fresno, so I have a hard time seeing either get brought up to San Francisco right this moment. Kickham, however, could have a leg up as he's gone 2-1 with a 1.66 ERA and 25 K's in 25 innings of work over his last 4 starts. The issue with him is that he's not on the 40-man and the Giants would have to make an ensuing move in order to make him ML-roster eligible. Again, they do have a few weeks to see how things shake out, but a decision will eventually need to be made, and my money would be on Kickham if his has another couple solid outings during that span.