MESA, Ariz. -– Looking to get his swing in gear, Stephen Vogt also turned in some conditioning work Monday.
It came in the form of two laps around the basepaths. Vogt homered twice and drove in four runs while serving as designated hitter in the A’s 6-4 victory over Kansas City. Delayed early in camp after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow, Vogt still hasn’t started a game behind the plate.
But it’s actually swinging the bat that hindered him most with his elbow injury, which occurred during his offseason training. Monday marked his second start at DH, as the A’s ease him into action. He’s expected to be ready for Opening Night, and his bat certainly looked healthy against the Royals.
“It was nice just to take full swings and not feel any pain,” Vogt said. “I’ll take that over the home runs, but it’s always nice to hit a home run. … I wasn’t able to get through the ball like that for a while.”
He smacked a solo shot to the grass beyond the center field wall in the fourth, then followed up with a three-run shot in the fifth.
It’s likely only a matter of days before Vogt gets behind the plate. Overall, he’s been ahead of schedule on his timetable for recovery. The A’s originally said he wouldn’t be playing in games at all until mid-March.
Josh Phegley, the other half of Oakland’s catching platoon, made his first start behind the plate Monday. He’s been bothered by right shoulder soreness.