OAKLAND -- A's manager Bob Melvin called the decision to leave catcher Stephen Vogt off the Opening Day roster one of the toughest he's ever had to make. Emotions ran even deeper for Vogt, who fought back tears when he spoke of starting the season with Triple-A Sacramento.
"This is such a great team, a fun team, it's just hard to not necessarily be a physical part of it at the beginning of the year," Vogt said. "I think that's the hardest part for me. I love these guys."
The A's announced final cuts Saturday, shortly after Game 3 of the Bay Bridge Series scheduled for the Coliseum was canceled due to rain. Oakland won the two games at AT&T Park.
Vogt was optioned to the River Cats and outfielder Michael Taylor was designated for assignment. Sam Fuld made the team as the fourth outfielder.
The final three spots in the bullpen went to left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz, and righty Evan Scribner.
Vogt, who started all five games of last year's American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers and appeared in 45 regular season games (40 starts), was a victim of the A's not having room for three catchers. John Jaso and Derek Norris will platoon at the position.
"That was maybe the most difficult one I've ever had to do," Melvin said. "What he's meant to this team in the time he's been here. Come into spring trying to make a team, proving that he belongs here, and he did. That's a tough one on everybody."
Melvin said he expects Vogt to be back in Oakland before long. Vogt believes that too, but that didn't ease the pain.
"I believe in myself and I know at some point this year I'm going to be back up to help," Vogt said. "It's just a tough day to get that news. Looking forward to getting the season started, but obviously it's just not a very fun day today."
Taylor is likely headed out of the organization. Melvin is holding out hope that the A's can hold onto Taylor if he clears waivers, but that would be the player's decision whether to accept a minor league assignment.
Fuld said he sees himself having an opportunity, even if fellow reserve outfielder Craig Gentry (lower back strain) could be back during the season's opening week.
"I feel like everybody's going to have an opportunity to contribute," Fuld said. "That's all you can ask for as a bench player is the opportunity to contribute. I think that's exciting. That's one of the many perks of playing here."
Of the three relievers who earned final spots, Pomeranz, 25, likely has the highest upside. But Melvin had other reasons for choosing him, Abad and Scribner.
"There's certain times you look at spring training numbers and certain times you don't," Melvin said. "When you're competing for jobs, you do. Pomeranz and Abad had terrific springs. We do need the length option and we feel like Pomeranz and Scribner give us that and Abad gives us that lefty matchup that we look for."
Because the game can't be made up, the paid value of tickets for Saturday can be redeemed for any 2014 A's home game. Tickets can be exchanged at the Coliseum box office or by mail.
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