MILWAUKEE -- Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt returned from season-ending shoulder surgery more upbeat than when he left.
The fix, Vogt said, was less invasive than the worst-case scenario Vogt originally had in mind, requiring a significant repair of the shoulder capsule but more minor "clean-ups" of the rotator cuff and labrum. He hopes to be healthy for Spring Training 2019.
"Obviously, there is a lot of hard work ahead of me," Vogt said, "but there is some hope in the future that I can regain full strength and be back."
It was clear when Vogt addressed reporters prior to surgery that he was worried about that future. He choked back tears talking about the risk posed by another shoulder surgery like the one he endured in 2009 as a Tampa Bay Rays farmhand.
"The hard part was there were so many unknowns with my shoulder history and a lot of stuff on the MRI that you couldn't see until you got in there," Vogt said. "You obviously think about worst-case scenarios. Last time we spoke, it was pretty emotional, because there were questions whether or not I would ever play again.
"Those questions are still there. But I am more optimistic now that I am on the other side of surgery."
Vogt's surgery was performed by noted orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles last week. Rather than rehab at home in Washington, Vogt opted to rejoin the team, and he'll stay with the Brewers as much as is feasible for the rest of the season.
"He has a long road of rehab ahead of him. It's good to enter it with the right attitude, and whatever your lot is, having a positive attitude is going to work for you," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Said Vogt: "I've been watching every game, so I know exactly where the guys are at. I'll add value any way I can to help us win, whether that's talking to pitchers between starts, talking to catchers, talking to hitters. Just being available. Being here to root the guys on. That's going to help me."
Davies to start Thursday
Right-hander Zach Davies cleared Monday's side session with no issues and is scheduled to come off the 10-day disabled list to start against the Mets on Thursday at Miller Park. Davies has been sidelined all month by right rotator cuff irritation.
His comeback comes right on the heels of Chase Anderson's return to the rotation from illness in Monday's 4-2 win over the D-backs.
"We're getting healthier in the pitching department," Counsell said.
With Anderson and Davies back from the DL, and left-hander Brent Suter slated to start Wednesday, it means a move to the bullpen for right-hander Brandon Woodruff, who has bounced between roles -- as well as between Triple-A Colorado Springs and the Major Leagues -- so far this season.
"I understand it's something new for [Woodruff]. I'm also glad he's experiencing it," Counsell said. "Where we end up in the future, we would certainly like to have him starting games, but we need to get there and have a spot for him. We're trying to put our best guys out there, and right now this is our best fit. We'll see what happens moving forward."
Ryan Braun, sidelined by back stiffness, is eligible to come off the 10-day DL beginning Thursday. He was making progress as of Tuesday afternoon.
"I think he hit on the field [Monday] and did a fuller workout," Counsell said. "He'll go through the same workout today on the field. [Monday] was a good day. We'll try to have another good day, and then [Wednesday] we'll have a pretty good idea of the timetable."