SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Vogelsong spent years in the spotlight at Oracle Park, but these days his best work for the Giants is done in the background. Vogelsong is a roving instructor for the organization and has drawn nothing but positive reviews.
It's pretty common for young pitchers to cite something Vogelsong once told them as they settle into the big leagues, and Sam Coonrod did so a few minutes after an eye-opening performance against the Cubs last month. On this week's edition of The Giants Insider Podcast, Coonrod explained how Vogelsong has helped him.
"One of the things he said is that you have to out-focus your opponent," Coonrod said. "He said that's why he was able to last for a while, and it really does work. You notice that things become a little bit slower out there whenever you can out-focus your opponent. Instead of allowing the game to speed up too fast for you, you can focus in on it and it slows it down for you."
Vogelsong was legendary for his intensity and focus on the mound and he has tried to pass that along to the next generation. So far, Coonrod is finding success. He has a 2.08 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, and has allowed just six hits in 13 innings.
Making mental adjustments has been especially important for Coonrod, who was a starter up until he had Tommy John surgery but now is getting used to life as a reliever. He said he's learning how to find that focus on quick notice.
"I've definitely gotten better at it since he told me," Coonrod said. "I still need to get better at it, but I think I'm going in the right direction with it."