The Mariners have announced their coaching staff for 2023, with only a couple of changes compared to 2022. Trent Blank will move from his role as bullpen coach to a new title of major league coach and director of pitching strategy. Stephen Vogt, who just retired from playing a few months ago, will join the staff as quality control coach and take over Blank’s bullpen coach duties.
Vogt, 38, makes a quick transition to coaching after a lengthy playing career. Originally selected by the Rays in the 12th round of the 2007 draft, he went on to play 794 games in the majors for the Rays, A’s, Brewers, Giants, Diamondbacks and Braves. In September of 2022, while playing with Oakland, he announced that he would retire from playing once that season was completed.
The fact that he has now made a quick leap into coaching just a few months later shouldn’t come as a shock. Vogt has been open about his future managerial aspirations for some time, discussing the matter back in 2020. Vogt has also drawn praise about his managerial potential from current skippers. “Definitely has a future in managing,” were the words used by Bob Melvin, current Padres manager and formerly with the A’s, when speaking to Janie McAuley of the Associated Press last year. Current A’s manager Mark Kotsay also had praise for Vogt, speaking to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle in October. “I do think he’d be a good manager,” Kotsay said. “Big personality. Gamer. Intense. Driven. You could see all those traits. Catchers seem to make great managers. They see the game from a different perspective. One of my best friends, who’s manager of the Brewers, Craig Counsell, said Stephen is probably going to be the next manager of the Brewers.”
Though many are predicting that Vogt will wind up a bench boss eventually, it seems he’ll start by getting his feet wet in the Mariners’ bullpen in 2023.