Logan O’Hoppe looked far from the player he was at the plate prior to suffering a torn labrum earlier this season. In the 15 games directly following his return to the Los Angeles Angels lineup, he batted .146 with a .508 OPS. But he’s started to turn things around in his last two games against the Cleveland Guardians.
O’Hoppe went a combined 4-for-8 with two home runs and only one strikeouts between Friday and Saturday’s games against the Guardians. On Saturday, his first-inning home run against Lucas Giolito provided an early spark in what would be a 6-2 victory, their second in three games.
The young Angels catcher spoke about what has gone well for him the last two nights and how he felt during his multi-week slump prior, according to Janis Carr of The O.C. Register:
“Last night, it felt like it clicked and now I want to build on that,” O’Hoppe said, adding that he has adjusted his stance in recent weeks.
“My confidence hasn’t changed,” said O’Hoppe, who was 2 for 4 with the two RBIs. “I know I can play up here and do this. I think I’ve been searching for something that I can feel good about and ride out. My confidence hasn’t changed, but I’m happy that I have that feeling back now.”
Angels manager Phil Nevin was concerned about this type of slump when the team made the decision to bring O’Hoppe back from his rehab assignment, but knew it would eventually turn around.
“Once we knew he was healthy and had his legs underneath him, then he could catch nine innings,” Nevin said. “The challenge was the at-bats. We knew that would be slow to come. He hit well in the minor leagues, but obviously, it’s a little bit different up here.”
O’Hoppe is a cornerstone piece for the Angels as they look ahead to a potentially uncertain future. Him showing he can turn things around just three weeks after returning from a major injury is another boost of confidence for the organization that may soon be building their team around a player like O’Hoppe.
Hopefully that momentum carries through the remainder of the season as the Angels formulate their offseason plans.
Angels don’t have the pulse of Ohtani’s plans
One big domino that still needs to fall is the free agency of Shohei Ohtani and whether or not he will stay in Anaheim. Signs have been leaning toward his exit, and Ohtani’s agent admitted that the team is not being kept in the loop regarding decisions that go beyond this season.