The Los Angeles Angels have a serious need for catching depth with Logan O’Hoppe, Chad Wallach and Max Stassi being out, so general manager Perry Minasian added another veteran catcher to their Minor League ranks.
On Thursday, the Angels and 26-year-old Meibrys Vilora agreed to terms on a Minor League contract. He was assigned to their Triple-A club, the Salt Lake Bees. The Cleveland Guardians designated him for assignment earlier this month.
Vilora began his career with the Kansas City Royals in 2018, and made a stop with the Texas Rangers in 2022. After 10 games with the Guardians, he joins the Angels to supplement their catcher position in case anything further happens with the status of Matt Thaiss or Wallach.
Before being designated for assignment by the Guardians, Viloria was hitless in four plate appearances, but he did draw one walk.
Viloria has posted a career .198/.270/.549 slash with three home runs, 24 RBI, 22 runs and a 49 wRC+ in 247 at-bats.
He saw the most big league action during the 2019 season when he appeared in 42 games, hitting .211/.259/.286. Last year, he appeared in 26 games, batting .159/.280/.270.
While he has not been productive with the bat, Viloria has provided positive defensive value over his career, and according to FanGraphs scouting, he has elite throwing ability that grades out as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale.
Viloria is out of Minor League options, however, so if the Angels call him up to the Major League team at any point, they would need to DFA him to send him back to the Minors.
Angels called up Chris Okey with Chad Wallach going on injured list
The Angels made a series of moves to address a few spots on the roster before Tuesday’s game against the Houston Astros, including placing Wallach on the injured list and recalling Jimmy Herget.
The Angels have had their depth tested at the catcher position, with Stassi out for an undetermined period and O’Hoppe recently undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum. Thaiss has carried the load recently, but the backup spot has been a revolving door.
Unfortunately, Wallach entered concussion protocol after waking up with a stiff neck, which gave the Angels enough pause to place him on the 7-day IL, prompting the Angels to call up Chris Okey, who made his debut catching Shohei Ohtani.
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