Los Angeles Angels rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe underwent successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. However, his exit from the roster is a blow to their depth but also puts a halt on a sensational start to the season for the 23-year-old.
O’Hoppe joined the Angels after the presumed starter, Max Stassi, stepped away from the team to rehab and take care of a family matter and is out for an undisclosed period. This provided their top backstop prospect with a shot to grab a hold on the job. After slashing .283/.347/.493, it appeared as if he was doing everything offensively to make a strong case.
Manager Phil Nevin highlighted some leadership qualities O’Hoppe displayed in spring, but after a few weeks into the regular season, he felt something unusual in his left shoulder. A few swings during their series with the New York Yankees brought the injury to a head and presumably ended the bulk of his season.
Angels star centerfielder Mike Trout has seen his fair share of injury scares that have resulted in successful surgeries, and he wanted to connect with the catcher to provide him with some valuable insight on how to come back even better, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
Mike Trout on Logan O’Hoppe:
“I did talk to him. Obviously I’ve been through the same situation as him, having surgery. Seeing the emotion that he showed on the field. … I’m just trying to keep him positive. It’s just a little bump in the road. He did everything right.”
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) April 23, 2023
In 2017, Trout underwent thumb surgery, then in 2019 he had a neuroma removed from his right foot, and again in 2022, he was diagnosed with a rare back condition in which severe implications were avoided. There isn’t a better player in Major League Baseball to lend guidance to O’Hoppe than Trout, given his stature and history with positive results following injury.
The Angels should be wary of O’Hoppe in how hastily they bring him back to full baseball activities, considering the number of players who lose a bit of their power when tearing a labrum. It will still likely take him longer to rediscover his power than the timeline for him to return to the field.
Other Los Angeles stars who underwent shoulder surgery include Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez and both were able to get back to productive levels, despite the drop in power, so O’Hoppe could benefit from reaching out to them as well.
Without Logan O’Hoppe, the Angels feel okay with catching options
With O’Hoppe out for the foreseeable future, the Angels will rely on a catching tandem that consists of Matt Thaiss and Chad Wallach until Stassi is activated.
Angels general manager Perry Minasian voiced his confidence in their young catcher and believes the pair is capable of holding down the fort.
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