12:48pm: It’s a grade 2 MCL sprain for Vogt, per John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle.
12:01pm: The Athletics announced several roster moves prior to today’s game against the Orioles. Catcher Austin Allen has been reinstated from the Covid IL. Christian Bethancourt, one of the substitute players that was called up to cover for the club’s recent roster shortcomings, has had that “substitute” designation removed from his status. Stephen Vogt, who left yesterday’s game with a right knee sprain, has been placed on the 10-day injured list. Right-handed pitcher Miguel Romero has been designated for assignment.
After a big selloff that saw the club ship out many of its best players this winter, the A’s made a couple of modest investments in veterans to fill out the roster. Vogt and Jed Lowrie each received a one-year, $850K deal to take some at-bats and act as mentors to the crop of youngsters who would be auditioning for roles in Oakland’s future plans. Vogt, 37, will now be on the shelf for at least ten days with this knee injury. The club didn’t provide a timeline on his expected return.
Allen was one of six Oakland players that landed on the Covid IL on Monday. He will be the second of that cohort to return to the club, after A.J. Puk was reinstated yesterday. Allen played well in 72 games at Triple-A last year, hitting .317/.351/.584. As several A’s have either gone on the restricted list or Covid IL in recent days, Bethancourt was one of the substitute players called up to help out. With Vogt now out for an undetermined amount of time, it seems he will stick around. Allen will likely be the backup catcher behind Sean Murphy, with Bethancourt serving as the third string backstop but also shuffling around to other positions.
Romero, turning 28 on Saturday, has been pitching in the Oakland system since 2017. From 2019 to 2021, Baseball America ranked him between #26 and #30 among the prospects in the system. The club added him to their 60-man player pool in the shortened 2020 season and then gave him a 40-man roster spot ahead of that year’s Rule 5 draft. He spent last year in Triple-A, making 13 starts and 15 relief appearances. Over 74 2/3 innings, his 6.27 ERA came with a 15.7% strikeout rate and 9.9% walk rate. Over 5 2/3 innings so far this year, he has a 9.53 ERA in that small sample. Despite those recent results, he still has options and could attract the interest of a team looking for pitching depth. In 2019, he threw 72 2/3 Triple-A innings with much better outcomes: 3.96 ERA and 25% strikeout rate, but a concerning 11.1% walk rate.