ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Former Diamondbacks C Stephen Vogt’s rise to manager not a surprise in Arizona

Feb 26, 2024, 1:45 PM | Updated: 2:50 pm

GLENDALE —  Catcher Stephen Vogt knew he wanted to become a major league manager well before his playing days were over, even ahead of his Arizona Diamondbacks tenure in 2020-21.

One year removed from his 10-year playing career, he received that chance as the manager of the Cleveland Guardians, replacing Terry Francona this offseason.

Vogt’s time in Arizona was cut short by the 60-game 2020 season caused by COVID-19 and bargaining between the league and players association, but he still took something away from manager Torey Lovullo’s handling of the players.

“I kind of always wanted to do this, but 2018 when I was in Milwaukee is when it really hammered home like this is what I want to do,” Vogt told Arizona Sports at Cactus League Media Day last week. “Everywhere I played, I learned a lot. I learned a lot from Torey when I was here on the way he communicated with players, he treated players, so I really took a lot from that.”

Vogt caught Zac Gallen, Merril Kelly, Joe Mantiply and Kevin Ginkel during his tenure — he called Gallen one of the most detail-oriented people he’s been around.

His production on the field had dipped by that point as he entered his upper 30s, but he was a noted veteran clubhouse presence with a sense of humor.

“I was super thrilled and excited for him,” Lovullo said. “Everybody in that clubhouse, coaches included, were fans of his and it was a rapid progression but it didn’t surprise anybody. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

“I actually predicted that when he was playing for me,” San Francisco Giants manager Bob Melvin told Arizona Sports. “Catchers do have a little bit of a leg up as the position that deals with the manager, the most of pitchers … He was always a real student of the game. He asked me questions all the time. I think he really aspired to manage at some point in time.”

Vogt played for Melvin with the Oakland Athletics from 2013-17.

Melvin said ending meetings can be awkward, so he would turn to Vogt for a couple of minutes to lighten the mood. Vogt was renowned for his Chris Farley impression, which Ginkel attested to in Arizona’s clubhouse.

“I think he’s just someone who a lot of players gravitated towards,” Ginkel told Arizona Sports. “He’s one of the more funny guys in the locker room. I’m not really surprised that he was able to get a job so quickly. I think he learned a lot from Torey.”

Now Vogt is in his first spring training in charge at Goodyear, and connecting with so many people on any given day he said has been an adjustment.

The manager is in the unique position of having played with and against so much of the league. The two-time All-Star is the youngest manager in the American League and second youngest in MLB at 39 years old, behind St. Louis Cardinals lead man Oliver Marmol (37).

“There’s a lot of smart people who have this job around the league, and I can’t even pretend to have their experience or knowledge,” Vogt said. “But I do think there’s an advantage to having familiarity with the league.”

Vogt was “pumped” watching Arizona’s World Series run, saying how fun it was to see the quick turnaround from what he experienced in 2021 before getting traded to the Atlanta Braves.

The new manager will face the Diamondbacks on Wednesday in Goodyear.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Slade Cecconi...

Alex Weiner

Slade Cecconi gives Diamondbacks quality in relief of Merrill Kelly to beat Giants

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Slade Cecconi earned a quality start in his season debut in the major leagues Sunday at the Giants.

1 day ago

Blaze Alexander...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Blaze Alexander exits game vs. Giants with cramp

The Arizona Diamondbacks removed shortstop Blaze Alexander during the fifth inning of Sunday's game against the San Francisco Giants.

1 day ago

Slade Cecconi...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks recall RHP Slade Cecconi, Merrill Kelly scratched vs. Giants with shoulder injury

The Arizona Diamondbacks recalled right-handed pitcher Slade Cecconi from Triple-A Reno and optioned right-handed reliever Justin Martinez.

1 day ago

Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen goes back to the mound as Giants hitter Patrick Bailey's home run...

Associated Press

Zac Gallen gets beat up in Diamondbacks’ loss to Giants

The San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3 on Saturday as D-backs starter Zac Gallen allowed two homers.

2 days ago

Jorge Barrosa...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Jorge Barrosa, Luis Frias land on injured list

Triple-A Reno placed Diamondbacks prospect Jorge Barrosa on the seven-day injured list with a hamstring strain.

2 days ago

Jordan Montgomery...

Alex Weiner

Jordan Montgomery’s Diamondbacks debut goes well in win vs. Giants

Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Jordan Montgomery was as advertised in his team debut Friday against the San Francisco Giants.

3 days ago

Former Diamondbacks C Stephen Vogt’s rise to manager not a surprise in Arizona