The SB Nation search engine is borked right now, so I can't find the first McCovey Chronicles mention of Ryan Vogelsong. But I'm sure it was as a punchline six years ago. "Say, the Giants should trade for Ian Snell. Anyone got Ryan Vogelsong's number? lollololol!" There's a fascination with certain never-weres that doesn't go away. There will never be a sentence, for example, that can't be improved with a Jamie Brewington mention.
The best movie of the year, for my money, was Green Lantern, a splendiferous, thrill-seeking romp through the galaxy Jamie Brewington.
Works every time. But then the dangedest thing happened. Vogelsong turned out to be fantastic. In a season where the Giants were right to moan about bad luck, they sure got pretty lucky on that move. From AAA wash-up to spring-training invite to All-Star in a few months, Vogelsong was one of the most unlikely stories I've ever followed as a Giants fan.
Last March, we were hoping for some magic from either Jeff Suppan or Brian Lawrence. Turns out it was Ryan Vogelsong. Ryan Vogelsong. So strange. And now that we have that season out of the way, it's perfectly reasonable to expect something similar every single year. Cram the logic, stat dorks! We're spoiled, and we have a taste for redemption now.
Two possibilities have emerged from the shadows, and the first interests me for obvious reasons, while the second one is even more interesting to me for less obvious reasons.
The first is Boof Bonser. Back in 2002, when I was figuring out how to start an interblog, my then-girlfriend came home from school one day with a copy of Waiting for Godot, and it got me thinking about how we baseball nerds often spend time waiting for a pitching prospect who would never show up. That led to Waiting for Boof, which was where you could find consistently brilliant analysis:
I wouldn't put (Joe) Nathan on the team if it were a competition between him and Jeff Juden. Nathan is the owner of a 5.46 ERA in 556 innings above A-ball. I don't care if he's touching 92 again, he needs to have, at the very least, one decent season in the high minors before he is considered for a bullpen job in the majors. If he came up today, he'd be slotted right behind Greg Bruso on the organizational depth charts.
What I meant was that Nathan was probably going to be one of the most consistent closers of his generation, but the formatting got all screwed up.
Anywho, I've always had an attachment to Bonser because of this, even after he was traded to the Twins in a minor deal. And now he's back with the Giants on a minor-league deal. Is he as good of a gamble as Vogelsong was? Oh, of course not. Bonser actually had some success in the majors. He's probably a better gamble.
And, hey, he had a 9.8 K/9 in AAA in three-plus innings last year! As a future All-Star? Well, jokes aside, the former-Giants-prospect-to-future-Giants-All-Star is a hiccup that the universe isn't likely to recreate anytime soon. But Bonser had a minor-league career that suggests he could be a decent-enough replacement to keep in a glass case. He probably isn't going to be ready until the middle of the season, if that, because he had Tommy John surgery, but it's still nice to see his name in the organizational depth chart.
As an oft-injured former Giants prospect whose velocity declined years ago, he sure does make a swell comparison for Vogelsong, though.
Yusmeiro Petit, a 27-year old former #Marlins, #Dbacks RHP, signs a minor league deal with #SFGiants: several sources from his native Vzla
Oh, man. Yusmeiro Petit. I don't even have to write anything new about him because I can just copy and paste my love letter to Brian Lawrence. I'm a sucker for those control mavens:
Petit was about as interesting as a non-Giants prospect could get for me. There were whispers that his "lack of stuff" and "homer-prone tendencies" were going to "lead to him washing out of the league and resurfacing as a minor-league deal when he was 27 after doing just okay in the Mexican League," but I never believed them. Turns out those whispers were spot on.
But he has to have some talent if he was able to just waltz into AT&T Park and just shut down the 2009 Giants, right? No mere mortal can do that sort of thing.
He's just as much of a long shot as Voglesong was, or Bonser is, but it's still a name that makes me a little happy to see associated with the Giants. It would probably be scorched-earth time if the GIants actually had to use one of these two guys, but as long as we're greedy and expecting the next Ryan Vogelsong, these two names will do perfectly for now.