Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt will undergo shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the 2018 season after seriously re-injuring his strained shoulder while on a rehab assignment at Double-A Biloxi on Saturday, suffering damage to his rotator cuff, labrum, and capsule while throwing to third base. As Vogt told reporters on Tuesday (video courtesy of MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy), the new injury has “big implications,” and it could threaten his career.
The 33-year-old Vogt, a two-time former All-Star, hadn’t yet played in the major leagues this season after suffering his initial shoulder injury during spring training. Vogt has posted a solid .251/.310/.416 slash line with 57 homers over 1,808 career plate appearances. With that said, he filled a utility role through much of his early career, and his defense behind the plate isn’t held in exceptionally high regard by most.
While Vogt and Manny Pina could have potentially formed one of the best catching tandems in the majors if he had returned, the injury obviously doesn’t affect what the Brewers have been doing this season, as Vogt hasn’t yet played this season, with Pina and Jett Bandy serving as the Brewers’ backstops. With Vogt and Bandy both being out of options, they likely would’ve had to designate one for assignment had Vogt returned. They’ve still got quality catching depth within the organization, as 23-year-old Jacob Nottingham made his major-league debut earlier this season and is capable of serving as a backup if necessary, and former Braves and Padres backstop Christian Bethancourt is at Triple-A Colorado Springs as an extra option if either Pina or Bandy goes down. In addition, veteran utility man Nick Franklin — who had his contract purchased by the Brewers on Tuesday — has been learning to catch since the beginning of spring training and is now listed as a catcher on the team’s roster.