Saturday, June 15, 2024

O'Hoppe Day


It had to be weird being a Phillies fan, coming back from the loss to Baltimore today and reading that the Angels won a tight game over San Francisco thanks to RBIs from Logan O'Hoppe and Mickey Moniak. Yes, Brandon Marsh is working perfectly fine for the Phils, but they've gotta be thinking about the catching situation without Realmuto going 'man, if only we still had O'Hoppe.'

Logan O'Hoppe is one of those versatile, multifaceted players that every team needs a few of, and if they're a catcher, even better. O'Hoppe so far has been hitting up a storm, with today's monster home run his 9th of the season. He's a decent defensive catcher, certainly no Realmuto, but considering that the team moved on from Max Stassi and demoted Matt Thaiss to give him a shot, the okay defense isn't enough of a liability. O'Hoppe's great because he can hit for contact and power, and yet thanks to Taylor Ward, Luis Rengifo and Zach Neto, he doesn't necessarily need to be the star of the lineup. He's just a very impressive piece to have, and today's win definitely showed that.

Without Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, the Angels have needed to draw from some very strange places to stay competent, and it's kept them out of last. We've spoken of the insane comeback of Kevin Pillar, who's still hitting over .300 with a 1.022 OPS. after a month. But you're seeing all these odd types of players contributing positively to this team. Willie Calhoun, as he did last year in New York, has been a surprisingly peppy bench bat, he's hitting .290 with 9 RBIs in 35 games. Luis Guillorme has been a contact smash already in 14 games in Anaheim, hitting .286 with 14 hits in 21 games. You're also seeing Michael Stefanic come in favorably for the 2nd base job. And Jo Adell, after years of trying, is finally mastering MLB production, with 31 RBIs and 12 homers. 

And look, even if Reid Detmers has fallen off in the last month, you're seeing great starts from Tyler Anderson, Patrick Sandoval, Jose Soriano and Griffin Canning. It's a surprisingly tight rotation, even without a clear anchor like Ohtani. Plus you still have Carlos Estevez as a reliable 9th inning guy. 

This is obviously not a terrific Angels team, but so much is working, and games like today's prove that you can't completely write this team off. It looks like they're headed in the right direction, even if they may still be a long shot to compete. But hey, y'never know if Mike Trout's eventual return will give this team the fire it needs.

Coming Tomorrow- The second of two starters surprisingly tearing it up in Denver this year. 

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