OAKLAND -– Stephen Vogt draws his third start in right field Saturday night for the A’s, as the catcher-by-trade has shown his versatility since being recalled from the minors.
Vogt saw substantial outfield time while he came up through the Tampa Bay Rays organization, and he also got exposure out there this season with Triple-A Sacramento.
A’s manager Bob Melvin penciled Vogt into right against the New York Yankees partially because he’s got full confidence that Vogt can get the job done defensively. But Melvin’s main motivation was just trying to get an additional hitter in the lineup who’s swinging the bat with some success.
Oakland has several of its key hitters scuffling right now, so the left-handed hitting Vogt gets a crack with the Yankees starting right-hander Huroki Kuroda on the mound.
“He’s gotten some big hits for us,” Melvin said, “so it’s not only trying to get another left-handed bat in there, but a guy that’s swinging good, because we have a few guys who at this point are struggling. We’re trying to get as many hot bats as we can in there.”
Saturday marks Vogt’s first start in right field at the Coliseum. He played there in a day game at Yankee Stadium and a day game at Camden Yards.
“Being able to do that in Sacramento for a month or so, getting a few games out there, it comes back very quickly,” said Vogt, who was recalled June 1. “Actually, being a catcher helps. Knowing how guys are gonna be pitched, thinking along with the catcher, knowing ‘Ok, a hitter might be trying to do this, so be ready for this.’ Any little advantage I can get to make up for any lack of outfield-ish (skill) that I have, I wanna take.”
The man that Vogt is replacing, regular right fielder Josh Reddick, took batting practice on the field for the first time Saturday since hyperextending his right knee and landing on the disabled list June 3.
Reddick said he felt good taking swings and that the biggest hurdle in testing his knee will be running the bases, which he has yet to do. Reddick also confirmed that he’ll definitely go on a brief minor league rehab assignment before returning to the active roster.
In other news, second baseman Eric Sogard returned to the A’s lineup after sitting Friday with a bruised ankle after he fouled a ball off his foot in Anaheim earlier in the week.