The worst fears of Los Angeles Angels fans were realized with the latest Logan O'Hoppe injury update. The Angels' rookie catcher is expected to miss 4-6 months with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He's expected to undergo surgery this week, and hopefully make a smooth recovery.
Losing O'Hoppe is a massive blow to the Angels. He only played in 16 games, but we saw the potential he had both offensively and defensively. O'Hoppe had a .886 OPS with four home runs and 13 RBI. He was one of the bright spots in what's been an inconsistent offense thus far.
It will be virtually impossible for the Angels to replace O'Hoppe. They can try, but catchers who can both hit and defend are extremely hard to come by. There's a chance he comes back for the end of the season, but I wouldn't bank on that. The Angels have three options of ways they can address the catcher position.
1) The LA Angels can stick with what they have at the MLB level
Right now, the Angels have Chad Wallach and Matt Thaiss on their roster as the catchers. Max Stassi is currently on the Injured List and does not have a timetable to return. I wouldn't recommend it, but the Angels can stick with what they have at the MLB level.
With Wallach, they have a proven defender behind the plate. The issue is, he's a .199 career hitter with five home runs in 91 games.
Thaiss hasn't hit much at all either, and is not as good of an option as Wallach in my opinion because of the gap defensively. The former first round pick is a .200 career hitter in 100 games. I believe Thaiss is more of a corner infielder the Angels are using at catcher because of how thin the depth in this organization is at that spot.
If they stick with Wallach and Thaiss, they could be passable defensively but they'll probable have the worst offensive tandems behind the plate. If this Angels lineup was reaching expectations they'd be able to live with poor offense with good defense behind the plate, but it hasn't done that.
Even when Stassi comes back, I don't see this group being anywhere near average. Stassi is coming off of an abysmal 2022 season, and I really don't have much faith in him getting back to his 2020-2021 form.
It's an underwhelming option, and it shouldn't happen, but I can't rule out Perry Minasian doing nothing.