The Angels announced some roster moves, including the news that catcher Kurt Suzuki has been placed on the injured list. Left-hander Jhonathan Diaz has also been optioned to Triple-A. To fill the two roster spots, the Halos have selected the contracts of catcher Chad Wallach and right-hander Kyle Barraclough from Triple-A Salt Lake.
Since no designation was given for Suzuki’s injury, it would seem like his absence is related to COVID-19, whether a positive test, or possibly Suzuki just has symptoms or a close contact. Suzuki has hit .179/.273/.282 over 44 plate appearances, splitting time behind the plate with Max Stassi for the second consecutive season in Anaheim.
Wallach will now fill that role for the time being, and after nine months in the Angels organization, Wallach is now on the verge of his first official game in a Halos uniform. The Angels selected Wallach off waivers from the Dodgers last August but he didn’t receive any big league action; he also elected to forego free agency after the Angels outrighted him off their 40-man roster back in November.
Appearing in each of the last five seasons at the MLB level, Wallach has carved out a niche for himself as a solid defensive catcher, but his lack of hitting (.207/.271/.303 over 231 career PA) has limited his playing time. Much of Wallace’s Major League career has come in a Marlins uniform, as Wallach played 72 of his 78 career games with Miami from 2018-21.
Wallach and Barraclough were teammates on that 2018 Marlins team, in what was Barrraclough’s final season in South Beach. The righty posted a 3.21 ERA over 218 2/3 innings with the Marlins from 2015-18, despite some control problems that have plagued Barraclough throughout his career. Since leaving Miami, Barraclough has also been hit hard by the home run ball, allowing 13 homers and posting a 5.59 ERA over 46 2/3 total frames with the Nationals, Giants, and Twins. Los Angeles signed Barraclough to a minors contract in January.