Vogelsong, Tepesch join Twins on Minors deals
Righties invited to Major League Spring Training
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins added to their rotation depth Wednesday, signing right-handers Ryan Vogelsong and Nick Tepesch to Minor League deals with invitations to Major League Spring Training.
Vogelsong, 39, has 12 seasons of big league experience with a career 4.48 ERA, but struggled last season with the Pirates, posting a 4.81 ERA with 61 strikeouts and 40 walks in 82 1/3 innings. Vogelsong, though, also missed more than two months after being struck in the face by a pitch from Colorado's Jordan Lyles in May.
Vogelsong has pitched only for the Giants and Pirates, so this will be his first venture into the American League. If he makes the roster, he'd also become the oldest Twins player since Jim Thome in 2011.
Vogelsong, an All-Star in '11, won World Series titles with San Francisco in '12 and '14. He also pitched in Japan from '07-'09.
Tepesch, meanwhile, was part of the Rangers' rotation in '13 and '14 before missing the '15 season because of thoracic outlet syndrome. He returned last year, posting a combined 3.96 ERA with 62 strikeouts and 28 walks in 116 innings at Triple-A in the Rangers, Dodgers, A's and Royals' organizations. He also made one start for the Dodgers, allowing five runs in four innings against the Pirates in late June.
Tepesch, 28, is a solid buy-low candidate, as he remains under team control through '20. He had a 4.68 ERA in 43 appearances (40 starts) in two seasons with the Rangers before he was sidelined with thoracic outlet syndrome. It's the same injury that right-hander Phil Hughes will try to return from this season.