OAKLAND -- The A's designated two-time All-Star catcher and team leader Stephen Vogt for assignment on Thursday morning.The 32-year-old Vogt has struggled at the plate this season, hitting .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBIs in 54 games for the A's."Just one of those things I kind of felt
OAKLAND -- The A's designated two-time All-Star catcher and team leader Stephen Vogt for assignment on Thursday morning.
The 32-year-old Vogt has struggled at the plate this season, hitting .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBIs in 54 games for the A's.
"Just one of those things I kind of felt coming for a little while," Vogt said. "Obviously it's never easy. It's something I understand -- don't like [it], but I understand how the game works. Definitely news that hit me very hard."
The mood was somber in the A's clubhouse Wednesday night when the team found out.
"We were blindsided by it I think a little bit," said left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle, the longest-tenured member of the team. "I don't think anybody kind of saw this coming. It really hurts. Thinking about what he's meant for this team and this organization, it's been a tough day."
• Fans pay tribute to Vogt
General manager David Forst told Vogt the news before Wednesday's game, something that both Forst and manager Bob Melvin said was unusual but done "in respect to him." Vogt entered the contest as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and remained in the game as a left fielder, getting the first four balls of the eighth inning hit to him.
Vogt spent 4 1/2 years with Oakland, compiling a .316 on-base percentage with 49 homers and 198 RBIs. He played on the last two A's postseason teams in 2013 and '14, delivering a walk-off single in Game 2 of the '13 American League Division Series, something that still stands out to Melvin.
"For a guy that had to fight so hard to make the big leagues, and the next thing is he's hitting a walk-off in a playoff series," Melvin said. "Once he got here, he took advantage of the opportunity he got in the big leagues as well as anybody I've ever seen. He definitely made an impact here."
To right-handed starter Kendall Graveman and Melvin, his leadership will be the thing that lasts the longest.
"Vogt never let a day go by where he wasn't trying to make someone else better," Graveman said. "He leaves that impression on everyone in the locker room. ... He's bettered so many people's career."
Added Melvin: "There's certain unique leaders that you don't replace, you just try to fill in around. We have some guys, it's just a little different when you have a guy who was the one guy you would say, when you're asking about who's the leader in the clubhouse, it was Stephen."
For Bruce Maxwell, who was Thursday's starting catcher, it was "weird" to be called up in place of a player that had mentored him.
"It's a sour taste for me. I've never been in this clubhouse without him," Maxwell said. "It's going to take me a little bit to get used to. But it is my job now, especially for the majority of righties that we face."
Vogt remains hopeful he can land with another team this season, but he will always appreciate his time in the green and gold.
"I understand the state that the organization is in. They're moving on. No ill will toward them, no harsh feelings," Vogt said. "It's part of the game and part of the business. I beat the odds. I stuck around for four years. I got my degree, so to speak, in Oakland."
It's that mindset that continues to leave an impression on Melvin, who added, "He even texted me this morning, saying, 'Tell Bruce to make sure he's in there with those pitches.' He's even in there with us today. That's just the type of guy he is."
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.