Vogt makes first career start behind the dish

Vogt makes first career start behind the dish

Vogt makes first career start behind the dish
ST. PETERSBURG -- Stephen Vogt was in the lineup to make his first career start at catcher Sunday, as the Rays attempted to go for the sweep against the Blue Jays.

"I just came in today, saw it on the board, and got excited," Vogt said how he found out he was starting.

He said his wife and child, along with some friends from Port Charlotte, will be in attendance as he still looks for his first Major League hit after going 0-for-19 in three career stints in the big leagues. He's made just two starts with the Rays in his career, both as a designated hitter.

Vogt played most of the season with Triple-A Durham before being called up in September. With the Bulls, he hit .272 with nine homers and 43 RBIs in 94 games.

But it's the defensive versatility that originally allowed him to be with the team in April. Vogt said he played catcher all his life before being converted to an outfielder when he started playing professionally. It wasn't until 2011 that he started splitting time in the outfield and as a catcher again.

"My versatility's always been good," Vogt said. "I've always known I wanted catching to be the focus, but that I can also play outfield and first base, not the other way around. I'm just excited to get my first start in the field behind the plate where I'm most comfortable."

Having his first career start in the field as a catcher could be a blessing for the Rays. With Durham, he hit .341 in that spot, compared to just .227 as an outfielder, first baseman or designated hitter.