Catchers Vogt, Phegley close to game-ready

Duo to DH before seeing action behind the plate

Catchers Vogt, Phegley close to game-ready

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The A's could see both of their catchers in Spring Training games ahead of schedule, just not behind the plate.

Stephen Vogt (elbow surgery) and Josh Phegley (shoulder soreness) are expected to get at-bats at designated hitter in Friday's split-squad games. Vogt is listed among the home reserves for a matchup with the Rockies, and Phegley is among those road-tripping to Scottsdale for the away game against Zack Greinke and the D-backs at Salt River Fields.

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Vogt's progression is particularly encouraging since he's just a month removed from surgery and wasn't slated to get into Cactus League games until the second week of play. Though he'll be limited to hitting duties during the first week, Vogt's throwing is also coming along at an accelerated pace. He's scheduled to throw from 105 feet on Friday.

"He's way ahead of schedule," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Gray, Axford to pitch in simulated game

On the same day the A's began Cactus League play, pitching plans for their ace were revealed. Right-hander Sonny Gray will complete three innings in a simulated game on Friday, with veteran reliever John Axford getting one.

That means Gray will likely make his spring debut sometime next week, reflecting a similar schedule he followed last year.

Axford, too, prefers to slowly be eased along, being "comfortable throwing a few less innings than maybe some relievers do," Melvin said. "He likes to ease his way into it, so he'll probably have a couple less outings than most of the guys do."

Worth noting

Mark Canha (back stiffness) is still several days away from playing in games, Melvin said.

• Rehabbing pitcher Jarrod Parker threw another bullpen session Thursday, reporting no issues. It's unclear when he'll graduate to facing hitters.

• The A's are being cautious with right-hander J.B. Wendelken, who is dealing with shoulder soreness.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.