Angels first baseman Jared Walsh and catcher Max Stassi will begin the 2023 season on the injured list, tweets Sam Blum of The Athletic. Walsh is currently being plagued by headaches and insomnia, while Stassi is dealing with a hip injury. With that pair of IL stints, the Halos will carry top catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe and veteran corner infielder Jake Lamb on the Opening Day roster. Lamb, who’s in camp on a non-roster deal, will need to have his contract selected.
Walsh’s trip to the injured list is an unfortunate development for the Halos, given the resurgent showing he turned in this spring after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery in 2022. The 29-year-old Walsh’s 2021 breakout sent him to the All-Star Game, and he finished out that season with a hearty .277/.340/.509 batting line and 29 homers. He hit just .215/.269/.374 in 2022 before landing on the injured list and undergoing surgery, but through 14 spring games in 2023 Walsh looked like his old self: .400/.512/.686 with a pair of homers and four doubles in 43 plate appearances. He’ll meet with a specialist to determine the root of his current issues.
With Walsh out, the veteran Lamb could step into the large half of a first base platoon. He’s had a monster spring, batting .324/.419/.595 with a pair of homers, four doubles and a 9-to-5 K/BB ratio in 43 plate appearances. Lamb hit 59 home runs as the D-backs’ regular third baseman back in 2016-17 but has since had his career derailed by shoulder injuries. He’s batted just .198/.310/.394 in 606 plate appearances since 2018 shoulder surgery. That said, Lamb is a .251/.339/.455 hitter against right-handed pitching.
There’s no timetable provided for Stassi’s return, but his trip to the IL paves the way for O’Hoppe, one of the sport’s top catching prospects, to open the season as the Angels’ primary starter. It also at least temporarily resolves the Angels’ dilemma with regard to catcher/first baseman Matt Thaiss, who’s out of minor league options. Thaiss will now slot in as the backup to O’Hoppe early on, and his experience at first base will also be a factor with Walsh sidelined.
O’Hoppe, 23, made his big league debut with the Angels late in the 2022 season but received just 16 plate appearances in five games. Acquired from the Phillies in the deadline deal that sent center fielder Brandon Marsh the other way, O’Hoppe posted a combined .283/.416/.544 batting line in 447 plate appearances between the Double-A affiliates for his two organizations.
With this Opening Day assignment, he’ll skip the Triple-A level entirely. He’s looked ready for the challenge in Cactus League play, batting .281/.361/.438 with a homer and a pair of doubles. O’Hoppe’s 13 strikeouts in 36 plate appearances are a red flag, but he’ll get the chance to prove he’s ready to step up as the organization’s long-term option behind the plate right now. Baseball America currently ranks O’Hoppe as the game’s No. 42 overall prospect.
Turning to the rest of the Halos’ roster, there’s further clarity being gained. While the Halos are still deciding who’ll round out the final spot in their six-man rotation, they’ve decided on carrying righty Andrew Wantz in the bullpen and, perhaps more interestingly, will run with offseason trade acquisition Gio Urshela as their Opening Day shortstop.
It’s long been expected that Urshela would see some time at shortstop in Anaheim, and he’ll get the nod over Luis Rengifo and David Fletcher. It bears mentioning that the Angels will face a lefty starter (Kyle Muller) on Opening Day, so getting Urshela’s right-handed bat into the lineup is particularly sensible. Whether he holds the shortstop job on an everyday basis will be seen, but he’s made a strong case for as much playing time as possible this spring, batting .382/.417/.471 with a double, a triple and just two strikeouts in 36 trips to the plate.
In further news Marlins Fan has been sent down to rookie ball to work on his disappointing trolling.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Jake will be quiet, the silence of the Lamb…
I really thought he was an AI, he kept saying the same things over and over
It amazes me that team after team takes on Lamb. He’ll hit a hr every now and then but otherwise, he’s useless. It’s the Halo’s turn to find that out.
good spring, walsh is injured at lamb’s position, hell start off at the bottom of their 40man roster and if he ends up not having figured something out he can be cut
I agree pohle, the Angels will be fine with Lamb platooning half the time when Righty is on the bump, and till Walsh gets back. There plenty enough sock with the big 5 up top of this line-up. I fully expect the bottom to pitch in to, unlike last year.
Walsh was having a great ST. I was looking forward to him starting the season. luckily, this is a non baseball related issue, so hopefully he is back sooner than later. Walsh was one of the players that I felt is being underrated by projection sites along with Detmers and Ward.
Now we get to see some of the depth that has been talked about all off season. Lamb should get most at bats against righties with Drury and Urshela getting the at bats v lefties. Lamb is also a power presence in late innings when a lefty starts.
I am not shocked Urshela is starting against a LHP on opening day. I haven’t seen it mentioned, but my gut tells me the Angels will go with Rengifo at short vs LHP and Urshela vs RHP.. Fletcher to be the late inning defensive option with occasional starts at 2B, SS, or 3B, but who knows, the Angels may have other plans. There is no clear cut option at SS.
Sir, this is a Wendy’s
I expected Stassi but not Walsh. Dude can’t seem to catch a break. Interesting that Fletcher isn’t on the list.
Headaches and insomnia? That happened to me 25 years ago. For Six weeks I couldn’t function. Pain pills, which I too only as prescribed, barely took the edge off. I craved my four AM pain pill. I had a cat scan, they didn’t find anything. And the migraine went away as suddenly appeared.
Whoa. That’s crazy.
I guess the attention wh*re aka Marlin fan. Is also a liar. He said he was leaving.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Yup, we finally found someone who posted something more stupid than “Wow”
Show of hands everyone!!!
Angels have two of my favorite Phils…Mike Trout and Logan O’Hoppe. What, you say that Trout isn’t a Phil? Well, at least a Philly dude…one that will now have his own golf course in Vineland.
I think that y’all will love the Hoppster…should become a fan fave if he can make the final adjustment to the majors.
Trout is a Jersey boy.
If you are not from the area, then fine…he is a Jersey boy.
In real life, he is from South Jersey, and that is a Philly suburb. Trout thoroughly identifies with Philly and not NY…which is a North Jersey thing. Hence, he is a Philly guy.
When you get your bachelor’s degree in regional dialect, we can talk about Jersey Girls, which is another thing entirely…
I grew up in NYC so I get it. To an outsider, Jersey residents have an identity crisis. But let’s talk about em Jersey Girls and the shore… fun times!
Jake Lamb is a plank and I believe he’s cooked. Saw him with the Mariners last two months of 2022 and he was a non-factor.
It’s all good, Lamb will be bouncing back n forth from AAA all season, for some infield depth. You could do worse in that roll.
he has enough service time to reject an assignment to the minors, so its more likely he gets cut if he doesnt stick with the team, but, stranger things have happened
I know it’s only spring, but he played really well
Nice to have some depth now, 2 roll players out to start the year, no problem 😉
Starting 1B and backup catcher are not ROLE players.
Call them what you want, the bottom line was/is that it’s not a big deal. Plug and play, cause now we can.
I won’t miss Stassi striking out to begin the season. O’Hoppe and Thaisse can do a good job filling in.
I hope they can figure out what going on with Walsh with the headaches that’s really concerning.
Tough times for Jared, hope he is doing better soon.
And it begins. 2 starters out. Walsh may not be worth much this season, so I guess we should expect to see a lot of a rotating group at 1B. God help us if Lamb and his 85 OPS+ and negative WAR is playing more than a few games. That is last year all over again.
I sincerely hope that O’Hoppe can handle the starting position behind the plate.
Another new name?
Since they don’t test for weed as a substance of abuse anymore Walsh should head to the nearest dispensary pick up some prerolls and spark up to get rid the headaches and get some zzz’s.
It could help migraines. Which means, it’s not likely to help migraines.
Edibles. He can control the dosage better that way.
My God it’s turned into the Cheech and Chong advise column.lol
One of my favorite lines from Up in Smoke..
Border Patrol: How long you guys been in Mexico?
A week…. I mean a day
BP- Which one is it
a week or a day a week or a day?
I lived through that and I have no problem with anyone trying anything legal. . But any drug is addictive,. It may not be addictive in the physical sense, but that kind of buzz can be mentally addicting.
It might related to that thing he had surgery for. The blood flow in his body might be causing the headaches.
Whatever is causing it, when something similar happened to me, it was the worst six weeks of my life.
Halo-How old were you when this happen? I went to Tempe last week to watch a couple of games. Walsh seemed fine. He was playing and having a good time. In fact he hit a HR in the game at Talking Stick. Must of happened in the last couple of days.
Forty. My 40th birthday I got a cat scan. My wife took me out to dinner, and we had to leave. I was prescribed Vicodin, and that just took off the edge.
The neurologist prescribed an experimental drug that cost about 400. I couldn’t get it at a normal pharmacy. I wish I knew what it was. It went away shortly thereafter.
Worst 6 weeks of my life.
Dumpster Divin Theo
O’Hoppe on pop
I’d have headaches too if my team had Trout and Ohtani and still couldn’t make the playoffs.