Stephen Vogt goes over grips with Sean Manaea in the Oakland Athletics dugout on May 25. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

A’s cut fan, clubhouse favorite

The A’s are 18.5 games behind the Astros in the standings, meaning it’s time for some tough decisions.

They pulled the trigger on possibly the most difficult decision they’ll need to make this season before the game on Thursday: The Oakland front office designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment to make more playing time for Bruce Maxwell.

Vogt was a career minor leaguer before he got a prolonged look in the 2013 season. That year, he hit a walkoff single in Game 2 of the American League Divisional Series, securing a place in fans’ hearts. He later established himself as an everyday starter, earning two-straight trips to the All-Star Game.

“Once he got here, he took advantage of the opportunity to play in the big leagues as well as anybody I’ve ever seen,” Melvin said.

Out of respect, team officials let Vogt know what was going to happen before Wednesday’s game to allow him one last opportunity to appreciate where he realized his dreams.

“I beat the odds,” he told reporters in a conference call on Thursday. “I stuck around for four years. I got my degree, so to speak, in Oakland.”

Melvin expects a contender to pick up Vogt, allowing the 32-year old catcher to extend his career.

In his first start since being recalled from Triple A Nashville, Maxwell went 3-for-4 with a double.

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