ARLINGTON, Texas -– Two key players for the A’s are grinding it out through injuries, and will likely have to do so for the rest of the season.
Catcher Stephen Vogt is playing with what is believed to be a bone bruise in his right foot, an ailment that is keeping him from getting behind the plate for the time being. Outfielder Craig Gentry is dealing with soreness in his left knee that he says has been lingering for most of the season.
Both have been of great value to Oakland with their versatility and ability to contribute in a starting role or off the bench.
Vogt has seen most of his time at first base or designated hitter lately, so as to limit the amount of running he needs to do.
“Anytime I’m up on the ball of my feet,” he said. “Running is probably the worst. I would put squatting second behind running. But it’s not agony. I wanna catch. I wanna do what I can do to help the team win. Right now, it’s not behind the plate.”
Where Vogt is really contributing is with the bat. He’s hitting an even .400 (28-for-70) over his last 20 games. Overall, his .361 batting average leads the entire majors among players with a minimum of 100 plate appearances.
The fleet-footed Gentry is not playing daily, but he’s making an impact with his speed and base running, not to mention some excellent outfield defense. Gentry has seen action in 79 of the A’s first 102 games, and with Coco Crisp missing considerable time with neck problems, Gentry has been a valuable backup center fielder.
His knee bothers him most when he comes to a stop after a dead sprint, such as when he’s trying to leg out an infield single.
“It’s definitely sore, but I manage it,” Gentry said. “Some days are better than others. It’s one of those things, I’m just gonna play through it. Maybe it’s something I’ll address in the offseason. I’ll just grind it out for the year and hopefully it doesn’t flare up too bad.”
Notes: Infielder Alberto Callaspo (strained right hamstring) is scheduled to split time between second and third base Saturday night in a rehab game for Single-A Stockton. If he comes out of that well, Melvin said he’ll likely be activated from the disabled list and join the A’s on Sunday. … Lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty has been effective in six outings since coming off the 60-day D.L., and Melvin was impressed with his command of his breaking stuff in 1 1/3 scoreless innings Friday. The preferred late-inning bullpen mix still features Dan Otero in the seventh, Luke Gregerson in the eighth and Sean Doolittle for the ninth, with O’Flaherty and Fernando Abad being used for tough left-handed hitters. … The A’s were successful on two replay challenges Friday night, and Melvin credited video coordinator Adam Rhoden with his role in relaying feedback from the clubhouse on whether a challenge should be issued.