OAKLAND (AP) — The Oakland Athletics called up catcher Stephen Vogt from Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday and optioned right-hander Fernando Rodriguez back to the minors.
Vogt immediately went into the starting lineup at catcher for the series finale against the Los Angeles Angels as the short-handed A’s needed hitters with first baseman Brandon Moss (right calf) and outfielder Josh Reddick (knee) out with injuries. Both are day to day.
Infielder Nick Punto is also slowed by a sore calf, leaving Oakland with only 10 healthy hitters before the move to bring up Vogt.
“We always knew he’d be here at some point,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It gives us a three catcher dynamic and Vogt can also play the outfield and he’s been swinging the bat well.”
The addition of a third catcher allowed Melvin to use catcher John Jaso as a designated hitter and still have Derek Norris available off the bench.
Vogt was batting .364 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 21 games in Sacramento. Vogt batted .252 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 47 games with the A’s last year.
Moss said he probably would be able to hit, but that running to first base could aggravate the injury. He hopes to be back in the lineup when the A’s open a three-game series against the Yankees in New York on Tuesday.
“You don’t want to do anything to make it worse,” Moss said. “A couple of games is one thing, but if you do something it could be a week. It’s probably not worth it.”
Rodriguez was 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in six games with Oakland, getting the win Saturday night against the Angels. Rodriguez is unable to pitch on back-to-back days as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery so he was the most logical player to be sent down to the minors when Oakland needed an extra bat.
“He has done everything we’ve asked him to do, pitched in some important games for us,” Melvin said. “We needed the spot and unfortunately it was him. He’s done very well for us. It’s not like he got sent down because he wasn’t pitching very well.”
The A’s could be getting a reliever back on Tuesday. Right-hander Ryan Cook, who has been out since May 8 with a strained right forearm, threw nine pitches in a rehab assignment at Class A Stockton on Saturday night. Melvin said Cook would likely join the A’s for the trip to New York and could be activated Tuesday.