The Angels announced a series of roster moves today, including the previously-reported selection of prospect Nolan Schanuel. They also reinstated catcher Logan O’Hoppe from the 60-day injured list. One active roster spot was opened by first baseman C.J. Cron being placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to August 16, due to low back inflammation. Chad Wallach was designated for assignment, opening a spot on both the active and 40-man rosters. To open a second spot on the 40-man, third baseman Anthony Rendon was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Wallach, 31, signed a minor league deal with the Halos in the offseason and had his contract selected in April when O’Hoppe landed on the injured list due to a torn labrum in his shoulder. Wallach has been sharing the catching duties with Matt Thaiss since then, generally performing well by backup catcher standards.
He struck out in 34.2% of his plate appearances and only batted .209, but he hit seven home runs in just 149 plate appearances. His 84 wRC+ indicates he was 16% below average overall, but catchers generally produce less at the plate, as the league’s backstops have a collective wRC+ of 89 this year. He’s been graded as a decent defender this year, with +1 Defensive Runs Saved and framing marks close to average.
But just as he joined the roster as O’Hoppe went to the injured list, he now departs as O’Hoppe is activated. The Halos will be hoping that O’Hoppe can pick up right where he left off, as he was hitting .283/.339/.547 before the shoulder injury. The club will put Wallach on waivers in the coming days, since the trade deadline is now in the rearview mirror. If any other team were to put in a claim, they could control him for two more years via arbitration. If he were to clear, he has enough service time to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency.
As for Rendon, he was placed on the injured list in mid-July due to a left shin contusion after fouling a ball off his leg. An MRI in the days after that IL placement revealed a deep bone bruise and he was shut down at that point. Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reported this week that Rendon had yet to resume baseball activities. Once healthy, he’ll presumably need to get back into game shape with some kind of rehab assignment after this layoff.
Today’s transfer means he’s ineligible to return until 60 days from his initial IL placement, which would be the second week of September. Whether he’s ultimately able to return late in the year or not, this will go down as another frustrating campaign due to health reasons. Signed to a seven-year, $245MM deal after 2019, he has yet to play in 60 games in a season as an Angel, with just 43 so far this year. The first year of the contract wasn’t his fault, as the pandemic eventually led to a truncated 60-game schedule. But he’s made frequent IL trips in three straight seasons now.
Since the start of 2021, he’s played just 148 total games over that three-year stretch, going on the IL due to a left groin strain, left knee contusion, left hamstring strain, right hip impingement, right wrist surgery, another left groin strain and now this left shin contusion/bone bruise. He’s hit .235/.338/.363 in that time for a wRC+ of 97.