Former catcher Vogt eager for role with Mariners

January 13th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Daniel Kramer's Mariners Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click hereAnd subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

SEATTLE --  hung up his cleats after the 2022 season following a 10-year big league catching career, headlined by two All-Star appearances and winning the '21 World Series title with the Braves. Now, he’s ready to “get my foot in the door for the second half of my career,” joining the Mariners as their bullpen and quality control coach.

The 38-year-old chatted this week about the opportunity. Beyond the bullpen, what else will they have you assisting?

Vogt: Being able to go out in the bullpen and relate to those guys and help them be prepared to come in for their outing is something that I'm really looking forward to, and just kind of having the experience of being able to help with the game planning and help with some of the approaches offensively, defensively, and just kind of all the different aspects that are going to go along. And then the catching, I'm just kind of there to help any way I can, and that's kind of how it was presented to me. How do you think your catching lens will help you?

Vogt: The perspective that you kind of have your hand in both pots and you know what pitchers go through to some extent because you're there in the fight with them every day. And yourself, you're a position player, so you really can relate to everybody. I think having somebody like [manager] Scott [Servais] to lean on and learn from as somebody who has had a similar career, obviously, he's somebody who's been doing this successfully for quite some time. So I'm really excited to learn from him as well as the other coaches on the staff. When did you know you wanted to coach?

Vogt: It's hard to keep people in the game, but I knew I wanted to stay in the game and stay involved and just help grow the game. So, it's always something that I wanted to do. I didn't know when I would jump into it. I didn't have any aspirations right away to just jump right into coaching. But I was just waiting for the right opportunity. And fortunately, the Seattle Mariners called and presented me with such an unbelievable opportunity that I couldn't pass it up. Playing in Oakland last year, what did you see from the Mariners from afar?

Vogt: I know this and if you ask them, they didn't achieve what they wanted to. So it's a group that's coming back hungry, and it's a group that knows that they've got the talent. If we can put everything together, there are great opportunities. How about the Mariners’ bullpen itself?

Vogt: That bullpen had so much success last year. I'm hoping just to enhance that and to help keep those guys going on the trajectory that they've already been going on. That’s really what my goal is, to just be available and to be there for them for anything that they might need. And something that's a group that I'm really looking forward to working with and getting to know better. I think for me, it's just continuing to echo what the pitching coaches have done, and then put my twist on things or my enhancement on things, if you will, just to be able to be another voice and another load of experience for them to lean on. What else are you looking forward to in this role?

Vogt: Also just to be there and to be a sounding board or to be available for anything that I'm needed for. And I think that's kind of what I'm excited for is just to kind of get the experience of learning and helping along the way, in all areas. I've had a pretty unique career in that I've kind of been a player/coach the past couple of years. Any time you're a catcher, you have that kind of coach aspect to your job. And so it's something that I'm really, really excited about. I feel like I'm prepared for it, and I'm learning from some of the best in the game.