Vogelsong released after rough spring
FORT MYERS, FLA. – After meeting with club officials early Tuesday, Ryan Vogelsong has asked for and received his release.
The righthander posted a 7.27 ERA in five appearances this spring. In two starts made last week, he gave up five earned runs.
Vogelsong made it clear he preferred to start than relieve, which might not have been the Twins' preference. Arm strength — Vogelsong's fastball was 89 miles per hour — also was a concern.
"We talked with Ryan [Tuesday] morning," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It was one of those hard conversations to have. After the discussion and different things we talked about, we gave him some time to think about it. He's asked for his release, and we are going to grant that.
"Can't say enough about what he brought to the camp. Had multiple players come in here and say being around him and [veteran righthander Matt] Belisle and some of these people have really made their camp."
Tyler Duffey, Adalberto Mejia, Nick Tepesch, Justin Haley and Jose Berrios remain in camp and are competing for the No. 5 starter's role. Berrios has been with Team Puerto Rico at the World Baseball Classic, which hasn't helped his cause. Mejia has pitched well but gave up back-to-back home runs Monday. Duffey fired five shutout innings Monday. Tepesch will start Thursday in Vogelsong's place and be followed by Haley, a Rule 5 pick.
Lefthander Ryan O'Rourke will begin the season on the disabled list after he was diagnosed with a flexor-pronator mass strain near his elbow.
The flexor-pronator mass, located in the forearm, helps stabilize the elbow during actions such as throwing.
O'Rourke pitched a scoreless inning Thursday against St. Louis, after which he reported discomfort in his arm. A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed no damage to the vital ulnar collateral ligament, but found evidence of the strain.
"He will be seven-10 days no-throw, after which point we will re-evaluate it and discuss a throwing program," Twins General Manager Thad Levine said. "He'll likely start the season on the disabled list."
Taylor Rogers is considered a strong favorite to land one of the two lefthanded reliever spots, leaving O'Rourke, Buddy Boshers and Craig Breslow as the main competitors for the other spot.
O'Rourke will be placed on the new 10-day disabled list, which has replaced the 15-day DL. March 30 is the earliest O'Rourke can be placed on the DL.
• Twins officials want to meet with lefthander Glen Perkins about advancing his rehabilitation schedule. Perkins has not been throwing with 100 percent effort yet as he works his way back from shoulder surgery last year.
• The team reassigned righthanders Jake Reed and Raul Fernandez to the minor league camp.
The Twins hit the road again Wednesday when Phil Hughes faces the Astros at West Palm Beach. Dallas Keuchel will start for Houston.
La Velle E. Neal III