The Angels announced a series of roster moves, recalling right-hander Jimmy Herget and selecting catcher Chris Okey. In corresponding moves, righty César Valdez was designated for assignment while catcher Chad Wallach was placed on the 7-day concussion injured list . Sam Blum of The Athletic reported on the moves prior to the official announcement (Twitter links).
Valdez, 38, was just selected to the club’s roster yesterday. At that time, it seemed like he was there in case the club needed someone to eat multiple innings of long relief. José Suarez only last 2 2/3 innings on Sunday and Chase Silseth had to throw 3 1/3 innings of relief to get the club through that game. With Suarez then placed on the IL and Silseth seemingly ticketed to replace him in the rotation, the bullpen was a bit vulnerable going into Monday’s night game. But Patrick Sandoval was able to toss 6 1/3 frames last night and the Halos finished out the contest using only two relievers, Matt Moore and Carlos Estévez.
With the bullpen a bit more refreshed and an off-day coming up on Thursday, it seems they decided they could get by without Valdez and have designated him for assignment just about 24 hours after he was added to the roster. The veteran has been in and out of the majors over the years, having recently leaned hard into being a changeup specialist. He’s thrown the pitch 76.7% of the time over his 49 appearances dating back to the start of the 2020 season, posting a 4.84 ERA in that stretch.
The Halos will now have a week to trade Valdez or pass him through waivers. In the event that he clears, he would have the right to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency by virtue of having a previous career outright.
As for Herget, he will get a chance to get his season back on track after a rough start. He registered a 6.23 ERA through his first eight appearances and got optioned down to Triple-A Salt Lake. That was a disappointing dip from the encouraging breakout he had last year when he had a 2.48 ERA, eventually earning nine saves and six holds. Since being optioned, he has a 5.40 ERA in five appearances despite strong strikeout and ground ball rates of 28% and 50%, respectively. A .462 batting average on balls in play and 83.3% strand rate likely inflated his ERA but his 16% walk rate surely played a part as well.
Turning to the backstops, the Halos have been doing a bit of scrambling behind the plate this year. Max Stassi has been on the injured list all year with a hip injury and personal issue while Logan O’Hoppe had his hot start ended by a torn labrum that’s going to cost him four to six months. Chad Wallach was added to the roster over two weeks ago to join Matt Thaiss as the club’s catching tandem but will now join Stassi and O’Hoppe on the injured list.
All of that has created an opening for Okey, who made his major league debut with the Reds last year, though he got just 13 plate appearances in seven games. He was outrighted off the club’s roster in July and reached free agency at season’s end, signing a minor league deal with the Angels. He’s made 45 trips to the plate for the Bees so far this year but has hit just .125/.205/.225 in that time. His overall Triple-A batting line is a bit better, coming in at .208/.283/.333 in 401 plate appearances dating back to 2019.
In one other note relating to the Angels, Suarez won’t require but will be shut down from throwing for four weeks, per Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. He’ll have to ramp back up at that point, meaning he likely won’t be available for a couple of months. He seems likely to be replaced by Silseth, who will join Sandoval, Shohei Ohtani, Tyler Anderson, Reid Detmers and Griffin Canning in the club’s six-man rotation.
They called Chris up? Okey dokey.
Come on, don’t post a pun if it’s just Okey. At least make it good
Or at least average. Right, AverageCommenter? 🙂 Is average greater then okey?
The Average White Band was pretty good. Okey?
I disagree as if they were they would have been called The Pretty Good White Band. Okey? 🙂 Thanks, bronxmac77! Were you at the game today?
Glad to see we WON’T be seeing Valdez sputter over the pitchers mound. Herget’s not much better, though. His ERA is worse than it shows since he’s allowed all three runners to score that he inherited.
I’m glad we are not seeing Valdez, but man, one day he’s on cloud 9, the next day he’s released. I hope they were honest with him.
Getting called up and DFA’d is pretty standard for emergency call-ups on minor league deals. Valdez went through the process last year and Okey will do the same once Wallach is back. Don’t infantilize the man and make him seem oblivious
And he didn’t dream of pitching three scoreless innings. And Okey was not dreaming o& going 4-4 and sticking?
Thought the same thing. I’m sure he was ecstatic to get another crack at the big leagues only to be DFA’d the next day… at his age, there may not be another opportunity.
Orange, according to Fletcher fan, you must believe Valdez is a child if you have such a thought.
Maybe they should’ve signed Gary Sanchez.
meibrys viloria is another depth option, who actually is a catcher. younger too, less expensive if they ever see the major league roster, is a decent depth option for any team to have but i dont think anyone else has three catchers on the IL so angels bringing him in should be prudent for them
No mention but Taylor Ward came up exclusively as a catcher. Id guess hes their break glass in case of emergency option.
Valdez is certainly a journeyman. Hardly anyone from his rookie team is still active.
When the time comes, Valdez better see a World Series share. Elsewise, some people are going to answer to ME!
This one belongs to the Reds
Okey was one of those ballyhooed prospects who ended up a suspect. I hope for your fans sake he finally figured it out.
Well he only batted .125 in AAA this year so I’m guessing he hasn’t. Haha
Yeah, not sure why they put Valdez through that. The dude has really bad numbers.
He’ll do Okey…
I never expected Valdez to make more than 1 or 2 mop up duty appearances, good or bad, before they needed his roster spot. Turns out zero.
Angels need Wallach. Right now he is their only hope as catcher.
He looked like he was having trouble putting one foot in front of the other without concentrating and had that glassy eyed stare going on. Angels fans are well familiar with that from Stassi. I hope Wallach will be ok health wise.
Matt Thaiss had defensive issues early on. Is he improving any? His offense (very small sample size) looks decent. High K rate but good walk rate. He shows some pop.
Angels struck out 14 times last night, and 13 (so far) today.
Seems they can’t sniff a whiff of Astros pitching.
C’mon boys! Rally time!
Keep that line moving!
Alas, the Angels again fall short.