No current A’s player has more lifetime at-bats against Jered Weaver, the right-hander starting for the Angels Saturday, than Billy Butler. The A’s regular designated hitter, though, is getting a day off, with Stephen Vogt in the DH spot Saturday.
“The way Vogt’s been swinging it,” Melvin said, “it’s prudent to get him in there today.”
Despite cooling down a little from his torrid start to the season, Vogt remains among the American League leaders in most major offensive categories. He ranks second in RBIs (50) and seventh in OPS (.918), and hit his 13th home run of the season in Friday night’s A’s loss.
Vogt also leads all A.L. catchers in most offensive categories, including homers, RBIs, walks, average and OPS. Yet when it comes to All-Star voting, Vogt ranks a distant second behind A.L. catching leader Salvador Perez, trailing by nearly 4 million.
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The fan voting for All-Star starters has come under scrutiny with Royals leading at eight of the nine starting positions. Melvin, meanwhile, said Saturday he firmly believes that Vogt has built a strong case for going to Cincinnati for the Midsummer Classic.
“As far as production from the catcher spot, there isn’t anybody that has better production,” Melvin said. “So there’s no question that he should be considered.”
Melvin also threw support behind right fielder Josh Reddick and pitcher Sonny Gray, who leads the league with a 1.95 ERA. Melvin added that Gray should “certainly” be “in the conversation” to start the game – a decision made by the A.L. manager, in this case Ned Yost of the Royals.
Voting for the All-Star starters continues through July 2.
The A’s lineup against Weaver Saturday:
And the Angels’ lineup against A’s right-hander Jesse Hahn
▪ Melvin said Ike Davis came away physically fine from his first game back Friday following a month-long stint on the disabled list for a quadriceps strain. Reliever Edward Mujica, who also made his first appearance Friday after returning from a fractured finger and was roughed up in the Angels’ eighth-run seventh inning, was OK physically, too, Melvin said.
Reliever Pat Venditte (right shoulder strain) is still doing strengthening work, and the A’s don’t have a target date yet for when he will resume throwing.