Two-time All-Star Stephen Vogt signed a one-year deal with a 2021 club/vesting option with the Diamondbacks this winter, so he’s clearly not thinking about retiring in the near future. However, the 35-year-old has given some thought to his next steps when he eventually does walk away from the game. In an interview Brodie Brazil of NBC Sports California, Vogt stated that he has “always wanted to manage,” citing the positive influence of skippers Bob Melvin, Bruce Bochy, Joe Maddon and Craig Counsell as a driving factor in that desire. Vogt believes that the peaks and valleys of his own playing career would allow him to relate to virtually any player he encounters within a dugout.
It was less than two years ago that Vogt found his career in jeopardy following a shoulder injury that required surgical repair. Then with the Brewers, Vogt sustained damage to the rotator cuff, labrum and anterior capsule in the same right shoulder on which he’d already had one major surgery performed. “The biggest emotion is sadness,” Vogt told reporters at the time. “…Obviously, there are big implications here with a second shoulder injury like this that I don’t like to think about but I am thinking about. I felt everything go wrong that could go wrong with a shoulder.”
Thankfully for Vogt, he was able to make a full recovery and return to the Majors a bit less than a year later with the Giants. And not only did Vogt parlay his minor league deal with San Francisco into a big league return — he enjoyed a rather productive year with the rebuilding Giants. In 280 plate appearances over the life of 99 games, Vogt hit .263/.314/.490 with 10 home runs, 24 doubles and a pair of triples while avoiding the injured list. That solid season lends some additional optimism about Vogt’s ability to play a few more years.
Whenever he does retire as a player, Vogt would join a long line of former catchers seeking a managerial career. The list of backstops-turned-managers is too long to run through in its entirety, though some recent examples include Melvin, Maddon, Bochy, Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny, Brad Ausmus, Mike Scioscia, David Ross and Ned Yost.