In for John Hickey …
Catcher Stephen Vogt was called up from Triple-A Tuesday to firm up the catching corps. John Jaso has a hand injury that may preclude him from catching until Friday and Derek Norris has struggled of late.
Vogt got to the Coliseum plenty early to begin his new duties and “get my feet wet.” When someone reminded him of the sewage mess from last Sunday, Vogt amended getting his feet wet “not the way I heard.”
Vogt made his major league debut last season with Tampa Bay and in three separate stints with the big-league club went 0 for 25 with two walks in 18 games, but just four starts. He said he never felt like he was in a slump.
“I kind of put that behind me,” he said. “It was 25 at-bats over six months. It wasn’t like an 0-for-25 in one week. I didn’t punch out a whole lot. I hit the ball hard, I just didn’t get one to fall. I’m fortunate to be back in the big leagues and hopefully I’ll be talking to you about my first hit tonight.”
He was traded to the A’s in early April, and every since, he’s shown tremendous offensive potential for been bashing the ball for Triple-A Sacramento, batting .325 with 9 HRs and 43 RBIs in 58 games.
Vogt grew up in Visalia and attended Central Valley Christian in the Fresno area so he’s a NorCal guy at heart. He has a bunch of family in the park tonight. Maybe this will be his big break, although manager Bob Melvin offered no hints about how long he might stay. Suffice to say he’s another left-handed bat in the lineup against Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo, who’s exceedingly tough on righthanded bats.
Melvin said Jaso is day-to-day and could contribute off the bench if necessary.
The Coliseum was activated from its own disabled list of sorts Tuesday when the A’s and Cincinnati Reds returned to renovated and meticulously tested clubhouses damaged in last Sunday’s sewage overflow.
After painstaking evaluations by a hazardous materials company that began that Sunday and were completed Tuesday, work on affected areas – which also included the umpires’ dressing room between the two clubhouses – started on Thursday and the work was completed and cleared for use Sunday night.
“We basically stepped back and let the facility do the work and repair everything that had to be repaired,” said A’s stadium operations manager David Rinetti. “They tested carpets and anything that was porous and they removed everything that needed to be removed.”
Carpet was not only replaced but dry wall and tile was removed up to a foot in the damaged areas. The A’s actually had carpet tiles in storage from when the clubhouse was originally renovated several years ago and those were used to replace the damaged carpets in the manager’s office, training room and hallway.
“It’s plush,” said manager Bob Melvin of the new carpet in his office.
New carpet was put down in significant areas of the visiting clubhouse and umpires’ room and was also installed in the hallway between the two clubhouses. The A’s did their own testing after the hazmat company completed its work looking for possible harmful bacteria and everything checked out clear.
Rinetti confirmed that a large mass was found to be clogging a pipe and caused the overflow.
“They don’t know what it is, but they found it and they are very confident that it will be cleared for us moving forward,” Rinetti said. “They did go through other parts (of the stadium) and cleared areas that we’d had issues with before. It’s my understanding they plan to do this periodically now in response to this issue.”
The A’s filed a “clean bill of health” report to both the Major League Baseball Players’ Assn. as well as the MLB umpire’s union.
Several A’s officials, including Rinetti, were asked about the cost of the repairs, but claimed they did not know. AEG, the company that manages the facility for the city of Oakland and AlamedaCounty, did virtually all of the work.
“Working with AEG on this, they did an outstanding, excellent job getting this done for us,” Rinetti said. “I called them when it was happening and they said, `We’re on it, we’ll get it fixed.’ And they did.”
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