As the Los Angeles Angels wrap up their Spring Training schedule prior to Opening Day on Thursday, general manager Perry Minasian is overseeing final preparations and tweaks to the roster.
Minasian solidified a large chunk of his team with much-needed depth in the starting rotation, bullpen, and lineup. With as many injury-related absences as the Angels dealt with last season, adding proven veterans on the roster was the highest of priorities.
After making it through the majority of Spring Training void of impactful injuries, the Angels had to make a few alterations to their Opening Day lineup, but should still be in good shape, via Sarah Valenzeual of the L.A. Times:
Catchers Logan O’Hoppe and Matt Thaiss and infielder Jake Lamb — who was scratched from Monday’s Freeway Series game with glute tightness — were added to the Angels’ opening day roster. Infielder Jared Walsh and catcher Max Stassi will start the season on the injured list.
Stassi missing time creates an opportunity for the Angels to give O’Hoppe, their No. 1 prospect, more time in Major League Baseball, which is fantastic for his rapid growth within the organization. However, their first base slot is in a state of flux with Walsh missing the start of the season:
Walsh has been dealing with headaches and insomnia the last couple of weeks but was not overly concerned, Angels manager Phil Nevin said. Walsh still has been able to do baseball activities. He has been examined by team doctors and also will see a specialist for a two-week program.
The Angels might view O’Hoppe as the better long-term option behind the plate, but Stassi’s familiarity with the pitching staff will be missed until their young backstop grabs a hold on the starting job in due time. In the meantime, Stassi’s availability is something the club has monitored for the past week:
Stassi started having an issue with his hip during a minor league game Sunday. He returned to the team’s Arizona facility that day to begin ramping back up after being away for a family emergency.
The good news for manager Phil Nevin and Minasian is the pitching staff has managed to make it a full spring without suffering big losses, a credit to their training and development staff, and a big boost for them heading into the regular season.
Angels hitting coach Marcus Thames wants his lineup ‘to be aggressive’
Thames was signed on this past offseason to be the new lead man to provide a historically struggling Angels offense with a new voice. After spending time with Nevin in the New York Yankees organization, home to many potent run-scoring units, Thames brought his hitting philosophies with him.
The Angels’ offense slotted as the No. 25 unit in Major League Baseball last season according to wOBA, which accounts for how a player reaches base. Thames was brought in to provide them with a new voice and a better approach.
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