OAKLAND -– Stephen Vogt is back behind the plate Friday night, catching his first game since getting sidelined by injury Sept. 6.
If all goes well for Vogt physically, A’s manager Bob Melvin said he will also catch Barry Zito in Saturday’s much-anticipated matchup against former “Big Three” teammate Tim Hudson.
Vogt has made a gradual recovery from the foul tip that struck him in the groin three weeks ago. He’s been catching bullpen sessions, doing other defensive drills, and he started at first base Wednesday, his first non-DH start since his injury. Earlier this week he said he’d relish the chance to catch Zito, who will make his first start in the majors since September 2013, when he was a member of the Giants. All signs are Zito is leaning toward retirement after the season. Hudson has already announced he’s hanging up his cleats.
“It’s gonna be a really neat day in the Bay Area,” Vogt said of Saturday.
Right-hander Jarrod Parker, two seasons removed from his last major league game as he recovers from elbow injuries, is scheduled to begin playing catch next week. He said he’ll continue throwing into the early offseason before shutting it down and beginning his regular winter work in the hope of being ready to go for spring training.
The question is – will Parker, 26, attempt his comeback as a starter or a reliever? Given his two reconstructive elbow surgeries, and a third surgery in May after he fractured the same elbow, there’s thought that Parker’s best chance at making a comeback is pitching out of the bullpen.
Parker said ideas have been discussed but no decision has been made.
“Whether starting or relieving, I just want to be a pitcher,” Parker said.
He added that he thinks the decision is likely to be an obvious one come spring training, once he starts throwing intense bullpen sessions and gets a gauge on where his arm is at.