After a strong start to the 2023 campaign, the Angels have faltered with a 4-14 record over their last 18 games. That slip to fourth place in the AL West has been accompanied by a rash of major injuries to key players like Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Gio Urshela. Fortunately for the club, the tides of their injury misfortune may be turning. MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger notes that both infielder Brandon Drury and catcher Logan O’Hoppe have progressed to hitting off a tee in their injury rehab processes.
Drury, in a particular, seems poised for a quick return, as Bollinger adds that he hopes to return from injury “in a few days.” O’Hoppe is farther away, considering his initial recovery timeline of four to six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum back in April. Still, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register indicates that O’Hoppe’s recovery is going well, as he told reporters that his healing process following the surgery is expected to end next week, allowing him to focus on baseball activities going forward. While no specifics were given regarding O’Hoppe’s timeline for return, his most recent comments seem to leave the possibility of a late-season return on the table, which is excellent news given his status as the Angels’ top prospect entering the 2023 campaign.
More from around the AL West…
- It’s been a frustrating season for the Rangers and 2021 second overall pick Jack Leiter. After his selection in the 2021 draft, Leiter entered the 2022 season as a consensus top-25 prospect in the sport. Since then, however, he’s struggled mightily when pitching at the Double-A level, with a 5.54 ERA in 92 2/3 innings of work last season that saw him fall off many top 100 lists entering the 2023 campaign. Things haven’t gotten better from there, as Leiter has posted an eerily similar 5.52 ERA in 15 starts (65 1/3 innings) this season. Leiter’s struggles culminated in the club moving him to the development list yesterday, taking him off the Double-A active roster. Per Jeff Wilson of Rangers Today, the club hopes to work with Leiter on his mechanics in a more controlled environment than minor league starts can provide, and has offered no timetable for Leiter’s return to game action. It’s a deeply disappointing update for Rangers fans, as the 54-39 club would surely benefit from the front-line production Leiter was expected to provide when he was selected with the second overall pick two years ago.
- While the Astros have not been shy about their desire to acquire rotation help ahead of the trade deadline on August 1, Astros GM Dana Brown recently discussed with reporters (including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart) the club’s back-up plan in the event that the club fails to acquire a surefire starter for the rotation over the next couple of weeks. Brown indicated that the club would consider a second half call-up for right-hander Spencer Arrighetti to help supplement the rotation if reinforcements are still necessary after the deadline. A sixth-round pick in the 2021 draft, Arrighetti a 4.21 ERA in 72 2/3 innings of work between the Double- and Triple-A levels this season. While Arrighetti seems unlikely to provide the same impact a rental starter such as Lucas Giolito or Eduardo Rodriguez could offer, the Astros have managed to find success while relying on unheralded rookies this season, including J.P. France, Ronel Blanco, and Shawn Dubin.