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Ryan Vogelsong just can’t get away from the Giants. The journeyman-turned All-Star and postseason hero for the Giants was drafted by the club back in 1998, and waited almost a decade between starts for the club after being traded in 2001 and returning in his resurgent 2011 campaign.
Since retirement, Vogelsong re-joined the Giants to help their young pitchers as a roving pitching coach. After getting the lay of the land for their farm system, Vogelsong said he felt he could be most useful with the club’s Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels affiliate, and spends about a week each month there working with prospects who are on the cusp of making it to San Francisco.
Vogelsong joined Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks on Tuesday to discuss his role, and delved into the organization’s top right-handed pitching prospect, Sean Hjelle. MLB.com ranks Hjelle as the Giants’ 11th overall prospect.
He revealed that Hjelle has been dealing with back spasms recently, but is working his way back up to an 85-90-pitch count and feels confident that he has a chance to make it to the majors this season.
“Sean’s doing great. For me — and we have a bunch of different minds in the room on this — but for me, Sean’s progressing the way he should,” Vogelsong said. “The fastball is starting to play better, the slider is getting better, the changeup is getting better, and he’s a guy that commands a baseball. He’s one of the guys that I can have some more in-depth conversations about on pitching a game, and setting guys up and and managing an inning.
So Sean’s doing good. For me, Sean is gonna go as far as Sean wants to go. He has the ability. He has it in between the ears and it’s just time for him to put it all together and when he does, he’ll be there.”
Listen to the full interview below: