PHOENIX -- Stephen Vogt, one of two candidates to be the Brewers' second catcher, will miss the next two to three weeks of Spring Training games with a strained right shoulder.It's a tough break for the two-time All-Star, who spent the offseason working to strengthen his arm after throwing out
PHOENIX -- Stephen Vogt, one of two candidates to be the Brewers' second catcher, will miss the next two to three weeks of Spring Training games with a strained right shoulder.
It's a tough break for the two-time All-Star, who spent the offseason working to strengthen his arm after throwing out only one of 28 baserunners during his stint with the Brewers in 2017. He already underwent an MRI scan, which confirmed the strain.
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Vogt and Jett Bandy are competing for a roster spot alongside primary catcher Manny Pina.
"Obviously, I'm very disappointed. I came into Spring Training feeling very strong, throwing-wise especially," Vogt said. "My arm was in really, really good shape. Unfortunately, I had something go wrong last week and it started barking at me."
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Vogt started feeling discomfort during a drill but chalked it up to usual Spring Training soreness. He played on the opening day of Cactus League games but felt worse by Monday, when a throwing session was cut short and the Brewers sent him for further tests. Vogt will be shut down for a week or so before trying to throw again.
The current timeline does give Vogt time to resume game action before the Brewers have to make a decision on their catching corps. Bandy is out of Minor League options, and Vogt's $3.065 million salary for 2018 is non-guaranteed, meaning the Brewers would owe only a portion of that total if they release Vogt before Opening Day.
Asked how the injury will impact that competition, manager Craig Counsell said, "We won't know until we know when he's going to play. When he's able to play becomes significant."
"If there is a silver lining to this," Vogt said, "it's that the timing is good. We still have three-plus weeks of games once I'm back in a week or so. Obviously, it's still disappointing. I'm not thrilled by any means, I'm not happy, but I'm going to remain optimistic. That's who I am. I worked way too hard this winter to let this be it."
No news means good news
Counsell said he hadn't heard much in the week since the Brewers' first full-squad workout about the progress of right-hander Jimmy Nelson. That is a good thing, since Nelson remains in the beginning stages of a flat-ground throwing program after shoulder surgery, and no news means no setbacks.
"I think I heard he's throwing today," Counsell said. "He's on the kind of tedious throwing program. You just let it go, and every once in a while you hear a longer distance he's throwing. He's doing great."
Nelson began his throwing earlier than expected and has "not missed a day" since beginning that process, Counsell said. But he doesn't expect Nelson to graduate to pitching off a mound before the end of big league camp.
The Brewers will get a second look at the pitching version of Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani in a seven-inning "B" game at Maryvale Baseball Park scheduled for 10 a.m. local time Friday. The Brewers accepted the Angels' offer because that coincides with the first game action for a number of Brewers relievers, and those extra innings will be helpful. The game might take place in the main stadium, which is typically open to fans at that time.
Keon Broxton homered off Ohtani in the right-hander's unofficial Major League debut in Tempe on Saturday.
Parkland auction underway
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School caps worn by all MLB teams in the opening games of Spring Training have been authenticated and autographed and are now up for auction at MLB.com. All proceeds benefit the official Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund at Broward Education Foundation.
After making his first spring appearance in relief, left-hander Wade Miley will pitch first for the Brewers on Thursday when they play the D-backs in Scottsdale for the second time in five days. Miley, one of six candidates for two openings in Milwaukee's starting rotation, worked two scoreless innings against Arizona in the teams' first meeting. Outfielder Christian Yelich and third baseman Travis Shaw lead the position players scheduled to make the trip across town for the 2:10 p.m. CT game, scheduled for broadcast on the Brewers Radio Network. The D-backs' television feed will air on FS Wisconsin and MLB.TV.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.