The once red hot team has finally fizzled. After losing 7 out of the last 10 games, the Oakland Athletics also lost their AL West lead. Something needed to change. So they brought up Stephen Vogt from Triple-A for their first game back at the Oakland County Coliseum against the Cincinnati Reds.
Vogt, who was traded to the A’s from Tampa Bay this April, came in to relieve catchers Derek Norris and John Jaso who have had a rocky June. Even though Vogt has yet to record his first major league hit, he has been on fire while playing with the Sacramento River Cats, Oakland’s Triple-A team.
Before moving up into the Athletic’s lineup, Vogt was batting .325 and slugging .541 in Sacramento. When it comes to his defensive skills, Vogt has been able to throw out 40% of base stealers with ease. The A’s are hoping that Vogt will bring new energy to the lineup in order to boost moral and bring in a win.
But Vogt is not the only talent that the Athletics have up in Sacramento. First, there is Michael Choice. Choice was drafted by the A’s in 2010 and is known for his powerful swing and athletic build. This right-handed center fielder has had a great 2013 season while batting in the cleanup position for the River Cats. Currently hitting .293, Choice has 53 RBI and 11 home runs. It has been rumored that he will be moving up to the O.co Coliseum this season, but he will probably join the roster in 2014.
Then we have Grant Green. Green is not far behind Choice with 49 RBI and 9 home runs. With a .316 average this season, this versatile ballplayer has the skill set to play all sorts of positions on the field. Having played both infield and outfield throughout his baseball career, Green now resides at second base while he bats number two in the River Cats lineup. Having the athletic ability to play multiple positions will ultimately be an advantage for Green as he tries break into the Major Leagues. As he continues to fine-tune his approach at the plate, Green is another great option for the A’s.
Finally, there is right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray. He went straight to AA after being drafted in 2011 and, since then, his strong fastball and quirky breaking ball is striking out players left and right. His methodical stretch allows him to minimize his energy expense and has greatly improved from his time at Vanderbilt. This season, Gray has a 2.85 ERA and a 7-5 record. Although he needs to work on his other pitches, Gray will hopefully make it to the MLB within the next two years. However, there is a possibility he could stand on the mound in his first major league game as a relief pitcher.
With Vogt moving up Tuesday, there seems to be more changes on the horizon. Whether it happens during the 2013 season or in the off season, only time will tell. But as these players continue to succeed in Sacramento, the likelihood of them moving down to Oakland grows stronger.