Los Angeles Angels catcher Max Stassi took an inopportune hit to the head while trying to dive and make a spectacular catch in foul territory on May 4 against the Tampa Bay Rays. He was removed after in what appeared to be a precautionary move, but wound up missing nearly a full month with a concussion.
Finally, after 28 days away, Stassi was activated on Tuesday. He then almost instantly showed what the Angels missed from him in his time away. As a batter, he went 1-for-4 with an RBI double. As a catcher, he used his remarkable pitch framing abilities to assist Andrew Heaney in one of his best starts of the season.
Stassi spoke about how it felt to be back in action after a difficult month away, according to Justice delos Santos of MLB.com:
“I feel amazing,” Stassi said. “It was an unfortunate accident that happened. I went into that net pole pretty hard and had the concussion and my neck a little bit messed up there and my upper back. The medical staff did a phenomenal job to get me right and here I am today, ready to go.”
Angels manager Joe Maddon explained the process of Stassi going from day-to-day to nearly a month out of action.
“It just got to the point where we weren’t sure,” said manager Joe Maddon. “We just went that route. I think we can all relate to this — once you get definition and somebody that really is an expert in a field could assure us of certain things, then all of sudden, that might help the healing process.”
With concussions, it is always better to be safe, even if it means the team’s best catcher misses nearly a month of games. Now, he can play as often as Maddon and the Angels want without the worry that he isn’t 100% healthy.
If Tuesday’s game proved anything, it’s that Stassi’s importance to the Angels cannot be overstated. The Halos are simply a better team when they have Stassi in the lineup, and they hope the freak injuries that have befallen him and other starters are in the past.
Anthony Rendon has breakthrough performance
Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon has also dealt with unfortunate injuries this season, but it finally felt as though it was in the past on Tuesday. Rendon broke out of a slump with a 3-for-5, five-RBI performance in the Angels 8-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.