Catching up with A's starter Brandon McCarthy

678910.jpg

Catching up with A's starter Brandon McCarthy

PROGRAMMING NOTE: For the full interview with Brandon McCarthy and all the news from A's camp -- including Bob Melvin's message to pitchers and catchers -- tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 9, 11 and midnight.

PHOENIX -- A's starter Brandon McCarthy is one of the smartest guys in the game, but once he stopped thinking about what he "had to do" on the mound, and just did what he knows how to do, the results were off the charts.

McCarthy finished 2011 with career highs in wins (9), starts (25), complete games (5), innings pitched (170 23)and strikeouts (123). His strikeouts-to-walks ratio of 4.92 set an A's record.

We caught up with the right-hander in the dugout at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Wednesday.

RELATED: Brandon McCarthy ready for leadership role

Q: Is there a difference in your preperation, knowing your role this year vs. last year trying to make the rotation?
MCCARTHY: To be honest, there is no difference whatsoever. Last year, my focus was doing everything had to do each day, and then that'd show up when I'd go out and pitch. And it's the same thing now. Where you throw in the rotation or what your situation is... I mean there's little things you're always working on, but they don't take over the bigger picture. It's just focus on what I have to do to become a better pitcher, and when I get into the game let that take care of itself.

Q: What was the difference maker for you last year that fueled your success?MCCARTHY: Most of the changes I had made the year before. I had finally become comfortable, everything was where I wanted it to be. I was just able to get into a routine where I knew what I was doing each day. There wasn't a lot of guess work. I wasn't trying to do new things. It was just literally, take what I have and throw with it. So, I was able to gain confidence as the year went a long, and settle into the pitcher that I wanted to be. As in the past I kept trying to search.

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt claimed by NL Central team

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt claimed by NL Central team

A new team believes in Stephen Vogt.

The former A's catcher, who was designated for assignment on Thursday, was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

The A's announced the transaction shortly before their game against the White Sox.

News of the Brewers making the waiver claim was first reported by ESPN.

The Brewers were the only team to place a waiver claim on Vogt, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Vogt, a clubhouse leader and one of the longest tenured A's, hit just .217 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 54 games this season.

A's hopeful Matt Chapman will be released from hospital Sunday

A's hopeful Matt Chapman will be released from hospital Sunday

Matt Chapman's first stint with the A's was cut short by a left knee infection.

The highly-touted third baseman was placed on the disabled list on Thursday and admitted to a hospital for treatment. He's been receiving antibiotics via intravenous.

Prior to Sunday's series finale in Chicago, manager Bob Melvin was asked about Chapman's status.

"Our hope is that he gets out [of the hospital] today. I know he's making significant strides. This has been really good for him, the drip of the antibiotics as opposed to the oral antibiotics he was taking," Melvin told reporters in Chicago. "I know once he gets out of there, they want to make sure there's no complications, so we're probably being a little bit conservative, but we can because he's on the DL."

Chapman's placement on the DL is retroactive to June 19, so he's eligible to be activated on Thursday, though Melvin wouldn't commit to saying if the 24-year-old will be ready.

"Once he gets out and once we start doing some baseball activities, we'll have a better idea of that," Melvin said.

In 14 at-bats with the A's, Chapman collected three hits including one double, drove in three runs and scored twice.

The 2014 first-round pick earned the promotion after hitting .257/.348/.589 with 16 home runs and 30 RBI in 49 games for Triple-A Nashville.