How Vogt has used IL stint as chance to learn from bench


Despite a decade of experience under his belt as an MLB player, Stephen Vogt never stops learning -- even when he’s sidelined.

The beloved Athletics catcher returned to Oakland on a one-year contract this season and has provided a much-needed veteran presence in the clubhouse. But on April 21, the catcher was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right knee sprain. 

Even though he returned to baseball activity this week, as first reported by’s Martín Gallegos, it could be a while before Vogt sees the field for the A’s again.

Still, he’s making the most of his time on the IL and shared what he has learned from watching the game with NBC Sports California’s Glen Kuiper and Dallas Braden.

“You can always be learning, and I think, for me, one of the biggest things I learned is pay attention to pitch sequences,” Vogt said in the broadcast booth during the third inning of the A’s 14-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday.

There’s plenty to absorb when calling a game from behind the dish, Vogt explained to Kuiper and Braden, but watching from the dugout is where even more analysis can take place.

“There are certain rules in pitch calling that you don’t want to do, or that you do want to do, but then you see somebody use one of them, and so you want to dive deep and say, ‘Hey, they threw a curveball after a changeup right there,'" Vogt continued. “That’s usually a big no-no, because we just slowed him down and now you’re showing them a slower spin. But why did it work in that instance?


“Go back and look at those things, talk it out with people in the dugout.”

At 38 years old, the game has changed plenty since Vogt made his MLB debut in 2012. That has made his keen eye and open mind all the more important, especially as baseball continues to evolve at a lightning-speed pace with new rules, advanced statistics and unexpected tactics.

“You can always learn,” Vogt said. “As soon as you feel like you’ve got it figured out, you’re going to be out of the game because it’s going to pass you by. The game changes, the game adapts and you have to adapt with it. Otherwise, it’s going to leave you behind.”

Catcher is one of the most grueling positions in baseball, making Vogt’s longevity over the years even more impressive. During the fourth inning of the A’s loss, Vogt remained in the booth with Kuiper and Braden and shared how the late Ray Fosse made him feel confident at the position during his first stint with Oakland from 2013-17.

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“[Fosse] understood how hard of a job it was back there. … We had some times that weren’t so easy, and he really did, he helped me stay positive,” Vogt said. “He helped me stay in a good mindset, he made me better by believing in myself every single time I’d see him. … He made me feel like I was the greatest player of all time every single day.”

As Vogt works his way back from injury, those words have certainly stayed with him after all these years. 

But until he returns, Vogt will keep watching -- and learning.