Aside from Patrick Sandoval putting the Los Angeles Angels in a five-run hole following the initial frame of Thursday’s matchup with the New York Yankees, rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe injured his shoulder late in the game.
O’Hoppe was given the opportunity to join the Major League roster to begin the 2023 season and the 23-year-old No. 1 prospect has made the most of it. In 53 at-bats he’s posted a .886 on-base plus slugging including a team-leading four home runs, 13 RBI, and six total extra-base hits.
The young backstop has earned the respect of his teammates and created a great deal of hype with his blazing start to the season. But in Monday’s contest, he felt a snag with his left shoulder but opted to stay in the contest. He’d go on to start on Tuesday, appearing in Wednesday’s game, but in the ninth inning on Thursday, a ninth-inning swing seemed to be too much.
On the same swing that resulted in a rocket single down the left field line, he collapsed in the batter’s box in pain before running to first base. He would exit the game and following the Angels’ 9-3 loss, O’Hoppe described what he felt in his shoulder, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
O’Hoppe said there was a “pop” but he couldn’t give more of a diagnosis of what might have caused it.
“I don’t know what it feels like when your shoulder pops out of place,” O’Hoppe said. “Never happened.”
O’Hoppe has been key to the Angels lineup, bringing a youthful presence they’ve sorely needed, and having a catcher with untapped upside has been a joy to watch. With as tricky as shoulder injuries can be, he discussed how upsetting the injury is:
“The hardest part is that you do everything the past year or so, so this wouldn’t happen,” O’Hoppe said. “Just hope it’s nothing too serious.”
When coming off of the field O’Hoppe displayed a fair amount of visible frustration, something Nevin touched on when commenting on his catcher’s injury:
“The emotions you saw were because he cares about this club,” Manager Phil Nevin said. “He doesn’t want to miss any time. We’ll see where we’re at.”
If this injury does throw a wrench in his season, the Angels will be void of a right-handed option in the lower part of the batting order they have counted on. The club will likely turn to Matt Thaiss to take over the bulk of catching duty in O’Hoppe’s absence, with Chad Wallach still in their system it’s fair to assume he’ll be called up as well.
Logan O’Hoppe explains trip to Yankee Stadium is ‘a special time’
O’Hoppe grew up on Long Island and as a kid, he rooted for the New York Yankees. As a young player in MLB, it was a sweet moment to not only visit Yankee Stadium but to start in multiple games meant a whole lot.
Many of O’Hoppe’s family members and friends attended Tuesday’s game to watch him in person, and the group intentionally left one seat empty in memory of the catcher’s Aunt Dana, who passed away in 2015.
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