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Ryan Vogelsong might be able to crack the Twins' starting rotation

Ryan Vogelsong was an All-Star five years ago. He doesn't think his tank is empty even though he's almost 40 years old.
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It's been a handful of years, but Ryan Vogelsong, who signed a minor league deal the Twins on Wednesday, finished 11th in Cy Young voting in 2011 while pitching for the San Francisco Giants.

He went 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA and was named to the National League All-Star team. But it's been a rollercoaster for Vogelsong since his career year.

In 2012, at 34 years old, the right-hander was again good, posting a 14-7 record with a 3.37 ERA. Then the wheels fell off in 2013 when he started just 19 games and posted a 5.73 ERA. He's been average the last three seasons, never bringing his ERA back under 4.00.

“Obviously, Vogey doesn’t throw 96-97 mph anymore, like he did when he was 25,” Vogelsong's agent told the Pioneer Press. “He has evolved, like all these guys do over time, and a large part of his game is setting hitters up, working the corners. Having a guy like Castro back there is going to be a huge asset.”

Vogelsong, now 39, doesn't think he's anywhere near the end of his baseball career. And according to the San Jose Mercury News, he's motivated to prove that he can still start at a high level after his career nearly ended when he took a pitch to the face in Colorado last season.

Minnesota's starting rotation is a bit of a mystery headed into spring training. But there's no lack of contenders:

  • Ervin Santana
  • Phil Hughes
  • Kyle Gibson
  • Hector Santiago
  • Tyler Duffey
  • Jose Berrios
  • Ryan Vogelsong
  • Trevor May

Santana, Hughes and Santiago are considered locks. Gibson was moved to the bullpen late last season but still has a strong chance to make the rotation, as does Duffey. Berrios is Minnesota's top pitching prospect although he posted an ERA over 8 last season. May hinted at the end of last season that he would like to compete as a starter.

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