Drop Angels 2.0: A Possible Mystery at the Catcher


It’s fair to look at the paper and think about it Angels You have a pretty good list. The offseason is dedicated to filling holes, and that’s what they’ve done. But baseball could be something like Whac-A-Mole. Once one need is filled, another need arises.


The angels did not benefit from the suspicion. But it’s easy to say that their casual moves make sense. Ownership restrictions that clearly prevented them from signing players on long-term contracts may have forced them to properly offer short-term deals that would make the club more competitive.

The good news is that we won’t have to wait much longer to find out. Spring training begins in about three weeks.

This is the second menu drop. The first came before the Winter Meetings in November. Be sure to check back later in the spring for another look at how the Angels break camp.

The capture situation presents one of the most interesting mysteries in this team. Stasi has $14.5 million left on his contract for the next two years. But he had a very poor 2022 season, hitting . 180 with 62 OPS+.

O’Hoppe is the Angels’ MVP, but it’s unclear how prepared he is for full-time major league catching duties. Or even backup hunting missions. Also on the list Matt Theisswho has limited major league support experience.

The team has three good, if flawed, options. Reportedly, the Angels are also interested in signing free agent Gary Sanchez. This would throw the whole thing for a loop.

The real competition appears to be between Thaiss and O’Hoppe. And the Angels should be careful about rushing a young catcher like O’Hoppe with a very bright future.

Ohtani will obviously make the list, but the bigger question is: how long will he be there? The Angels want to re-sign him, but his pending free agency will make Ohtani’s future one of the biggest topics in baseball this season. It will also be interesting to see how his work in the World Baseball Classic affects him in the regular season, if at all. It is not clear how much time he will be spending in Angels spring training.

Since the last schedule drop, Canning has been replaced by Silseth hunt. It will be an interesting competition for sixth place in the rotation. Tucker Davidson is left with no options and the team likely won’t want to let him go to waste. As a result, it will be a name to watch.

But Canning’s more optimistic health outlook might put him on the leaderboard here, simply because of his experience and potential. Canning was one of the Angels’ top prospects before some ineffectiveness and a back injury sidelined him in the middle of 2021. If he’s really healthy, maybe he’ll perform to his abilities this season.

Anderson, Sandoval, Detmers and Suarez’s openings have been solidified. But it will be important for Detmers and Suarez to continue their rally from the end of last year to stick to this rotation for the long term.

There are a few other names that might be worth looking out for to kick off this season. David Davis He survived the 40-man squad despite a number of deductions this season. He did well last year and he might get his shot. Chris Rodriguez is finally back and recovering from a shoulder injury. Jaime Pria He was so good as a long reliever that it’s only right that he finally gets another chance to start. Kenny Rosenberg, Jake Kalish, Cesar Valdez and Jonathan Diaz – not included in the 40-man roster – are names to watch for potential positional starting opportunities.

The Angels have a lot of players who can play first, second and third. There are not many real stopping points. Casual acquisitions have likely forced a defensive wheeze Andrew Velazquez out of the active list. The Angels will rotate their home ground slightly depending on the matches. Best starting guess against a right-handed pitcher: Rendon (3B), Renfigo (SS), Drury (2B), Walsh (1B). And against left-handed pitchers: Rendon (3B), Rengifo (SS), Urshela (2B), Drury (1B).

It’s also possible that Angels manager Phil Nevin will appreciate Fletcher’s defense and find a way to get him to play a consistent starting role, especially if his bat proves valuable.

The bigger question will be the midfield defense. Shortstop’s role will shift in 2023, pun intended. Because there is no shift. So the short stop will be in its traditional spot most of the time. That could serve the benefit of the angels.

Other players to be considered for pitch positions include: Velázquez, W Levan Soto. 400 in his short stint in the major leagues last season. He will definitely get a good look at spring training. Michael Stefanik He also survived roster cuts, indicating that the Angels still believe he could be a valuable player.

This is probably the most solid group here. Many angels have said GM Perry Minasian. Trout and Renfrew Ward will start. Phillips, who can play all three outdoor locations, will support all of them. It’s also fair to expect to see Drury, Rengifu and Walsh occasionally on the field this season, as needed.

While jobs are cemented, it creates a very awkward situation for the I’m fair And Mickey Moniac. They don’t have a direct path to making the roster, assuming everyone is healthy when spring training breaks. They will likely start the season in Triple A, if they are still in the organization.

Another potentially interesting wrinkle is if Adell or Moniak has a great spring, it may be difficult to guarantee an outside backup job for Phillips, who hit 0.44 last season. But Philips is still far ahead.

There is usually a lot of competition to be had for the bullpens coming out of spring training. However, if everyone is healthy, it’s hard to see Angels deviating too much from the names listed here. It’s also hard to see them carrying more than eight painkillers.

The shooters who will have to earn their jobs are the Wantz and, in particular, Weiss. The Wantz quietly put together his sophomore season last year after starting 2022 by bouncing between the majors and minors. He had a 3.22 ERA over 50 1/3 innings pitched.

Weiss appeared in September and had a 3.88 ERA. Sometimes his problem was an order. But he stayed on the list the whole time, so the Angels clearly appreciate him.

It will be interesting to know if Jose Soriano or Colton Ingram Competition for a place on the list. Both were added to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Justin Garza He is also a wild card. The Angels put him at 40 players even though he didn’t play in the majors last year.

The other question with the bullpen is if there is a closer group. Estevez seems to have the best shot. But it should come as no surprise if Herget or Quijada are closing matches.

(Photo by Logan Uhope: Darren Yamashita/USA Today)

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