A’s: Vogt balances wanting to play, needing to rest foot

Stephen Vogt is playing on a painful right foot and producing.

Stephen Vogt is playing on a painful right foot and producing.

Stephen Vogt has spent enough of his career not playing in the big leagues that the last thing you’ll ever see him do is ask for time off.

The veteran catcher/outfielder is not asking for it now.

But when you watch him limp around the A’s clubhouse after a game, you wonder what his pain threshold is and whether time off would help. On the field as the A’s first baseman Friday night, Vogt seemed to be able to make all the plays needed.

At the plate, he doubled and singled, collecting two of Oakland’s seven hits. Nothing seemed amiss. But in the clubhouse an hour after the game, he looked like he needed a walker, his limp was so pronounced.

And this is just a week after he’d had four days off at Lake Tahoe during the All-Star break.

“It’s one of those things where in the heat of the game I can get through it,’’ Vogt said. He wasn’t necessarily saying the temperature needed to match Friday night’s 98 degrees, although that probably helped keep him loose. “It’s when I slow down that the pain comes.

“It’s something I’m dealing with. It’s just there. Would time off help? I don’t know. I don’t want time off. I had four days off at the break and it got a little better. We are doing what we can to manage it.’’

Manager Bob Melvin doesn’t want the injury – Vogt said he thinks it’s a bad bone bruise, but he isn’t sure – to get any worse.

And Melvin doesn’t want Vogt’s bat out of the lineup. Overall Vogt is 28-for-70 (.400) in his last 20 games and has the highest batting average on the A’s roster at .361.

For the time being Melvin will have the catcher play first base or DH rather than catch or play outfield.

The key thing from Vogt’s point of view is that the injury is on his front foot in the batter’s box and not his rear foot. The rear leg generates much of the power in a hitter’s swing.

“If it was my back foot, I’d be in trouble,’’ he said. “As it is, I’m getting through it. I don’t want to come out.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.