Daniel Vogelbach believes everything happens for a reason, including his July trade from the World Champion Chicago Cubs to the Seattle Mariners.
“I know I’m where I’m supposed to be,” said the 24-year-old Vogelbach, who is slated to be the M’s starting first baseman this season. “God put me in this place, and I’m going to take full advantage of the opportunity. I’m thankful to be here, and I’m also thankful that my friends with the Cubs had an opportunity to win a World Series.”
Vogelbach, along with pitcher Cody Martin and announcer Aaron Goldsmith stopped by Lower Columbia College on Friday as part of the Mariners’ Northwest Caravan.
Vogelbach admits he faced a huge roadblock in his quest to be the Cubs’ first baseman.
“There’s a reality in baseball and a reality in life, and Anthony Rizzo is and will be the Cubs’ first baseman as long as he stays healthy,” the Cubs’ 2011 second-round pick said. “I have nothing but good things to say about the Cubs and Rizzo. He took me under his wing when I was there and told me to only worry about what I could control.”
Vogelbach also has no remorse about being traded prior to the Cubs’ World Series run.
“I’m a firm believer in faith and everything happens for a reason,” Vogelbach said. “I want to win a World Series on my own and be a part of it. I’m striving to be the best player I can be.”
Vogelbach, who had one hit in 12 at-bats for the Mariners in the waning days of last season, doesn’t set personal goals at the beginning of each campaign.
“I’m more of a team goal guy, and I want to do whatever I can to help the team win,” he said. “The better I perform, the happier I will be, and my goal is to compete and get better each day.”
The Mariners have been busy in the offseason with the acquisitions of pitchers Yovani Gallardo, Drew Smyly, Chris Heston, Marc Rzepczynski, infielders Jean Segura, Danny Valencia and outfielder Jarrod Dyson.
“It’s always good to know the front office wants to win now,” Vogelbach said. “Look at Segura and the type of player he is and the production he brings. When you have someone like that it automatically gives your lineup a boost.”
The addition of Valencia gives the Mariners another option at first and third bases.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen at first, and it all goes back to what I can control,” Vogelbach said. “My spot is to do the best I can to help the team win. If I continue to learn and develop, everything will fall into place.”
Vogelbach is anxious to get his bat into an already potent lineup which includes Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz.
“We probably have the best middle of the lineup in baseball,” he said. “I want to develop the same routine and approach they have, and feed off them.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to the season.”