No player on the Milwaukee Brewers’ roster does a better job of keeping his chin up and looking at the bright side than Stephen Vogt, one of the most upbeat players you ever could meet.
But the veteran catcher fought back tears Tuesday after receiving devastating news about his throwing shoulder that could prevent him from playing again. An MRI revealed he did damage to the rotator cuff, labrum and capsule making a throw to third base while on minor-league rehab assignment Saturday with Class AA Biloxi.
Vogt was moved from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL while he awaits a second opinion on his shoulder. The Brewers also optioned slump-ridden utility infielder Eric Sogard to Class AAA Colorado and replaced him with utility player Nick Franklin, summoned from Biloxi. Another move was pending on closer Corey Knebel, who reported back from his rehab assignment.
Vogt, 33, was getting close to rejoining the Brewers after a lengthy rehab period necessitated by a shoulder strain early in spring training. That made the news of the injury even tougher to take for both player and club.
“It’s tough; it’s not good news,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He’ll seek a second opinion and make sure he has all the information that he needs. But he’s looking at something pretty serious, probably.
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“Look, it’s been a frustrating run in general, ever since the start of spring training for him, injured just a couple days in. You do all your work to get back and you try to be patient, but you try to push it and so there’s that fine line where that’s what coming back from an injury is for these guys. Obviously, it had felt good and the (upcoming) road trip was probably his target date to be activated.
The Brewers kept Vogt at the end of spring training despite the injury, guaranteeing his $3.065 million salary, because they valued his left-handed bat, leadership skills and veteran presence. He had worked hard over the winter on strengthening his shoulder to improve his biggest flaw, throwing to bases, which made the injury even tougher to absorb.
Vogt will stay with the team for a few days, including the upcoming trip to Colorado, before going to Los Angeles to see shoulder specialist Neal ElAttrache.