Angels catcher Max Stassi looks for answers amid ‘horrible’ season – Orange County Register

ANAHEIM — After two seasons adequate to earn him a $17.5 million contract extension, Max Stassi is not operating from what a disappointment this yr has been for the Angels catcher.

“Way beneath my requirements,” Stassi stated. “It has not been good. Horrible. My coaches, everybody, has been serving to me out. I’m simply the one not getting it carried out.”

Stassi, 31, is hitting .179 with a .564 OPS, which is a dramatic decline from the .250 and .784 numbers he posted in 2020 and 2021, mixed. That, alongside together with his protection, prompted the Angels to purchase him out of at the very least two years of free company with the March contract extension.

Now, Stassi is aware of he has to do one thing completely different.

“I’m going again to the drafting board,” Stassi stated. “I’m making an attempt to do no matter I can to be in place. I’m going to determine it out. I do not know precisely what I’m going to do but.”

Stassi’s season began poorly, however there was a stretch within the center when he appeared to be again on observe. In the primary three weeks after the All-Star break, Stassi hit .259 with a .768 OPS. He stated he had been extra centered on getting the ball out in entrance of the plate.

Since then, although, Stassi has gone 4 for 72. It’s been paying homage to the 3-for-42 stretch instantly after the Angels acquired him in a July 2019 commerce. If there’s any comfort, he reworked his swing the next winter and had two productive seasons.

“You undergo occasions like this and I’ll overcome this,” Stassi stated. “That’s the one factor I’ve bought proper now. If I knew precisely what was happening, I’d inform you. It’s a mixture of some issues. I’m not trusting my swing at occasions. It’s been exhausting, however I’ve bought to maintain working. I’ve been in conditions like this all through my profession and I’ll come out on prime.”

If he is not capable of flip it round, the Angels must look for options. Matt Thaiss has proven some promise in his first actual alternative behind the plate in current weeks. The Angels’ prime prospect is catcher Logan O’Hoppe, who was acquired final month in a commerce with Philadelphia. O’Hoppe has hit .306 with 11 homers and a 1.174 OPS in 29 video games with the Angels’ Double-A group.

While Stassi’s offense has been a disappointment, Manager Phil Nevin nonetheless sees positives in what he is carried out with Angels pitchers. He’s caught 23 of Shohei Ohtani’s 25 begins. The Angels have a 3.82 ERA this season, down from 4.69 in 2021.

“He’s carried out an outstanding job, catching Shohei every time clearly,” Nevin stated. “He actually does an excellent job with our youthful pitchers. When he is not taking part in he is engaged, serving to with (Matt Thaiss). Both him and (Kurt Suzuki). They speak in regards to the sport loads. We’re higher with him behind the plate, due to how he handles our pitching employees, and the way he does issues when he is not taking part in. I do know the offense has been a wrestle, however I’m happy with him for the way in which he goes about his enterprise behind the plate, which to me is simply as essential.”

Stassi’s job behind the plate may be altering considerably sooner or later. The rule modifications for subsequent yr will seemingly improve stolen bases, which goes to extend the strain on catchers to close down the operating sport. Stassi is reserving judgment to see precisely how a lot base-stealing will increase.

Stassi, who takes pleasure in pitch framing, has additionally been carefully following the game’s transfer experiments with an automatic strike zone. Baseball has tried a totally automated zone within the minors, nevertheless it’s price noting that this yr the Arizona Fall League can be utilizing a problem system. Instead of each single ball-strike name being automated, the pitcher, catcher and hitter will be capable of problem just a few calls per sport.

“I feel that the problem system is sweet,” Stassi stated. “(Umpires) are human too. They’re going to overlook a ball or two balls up or out, however when you have a problem system form of equals it out. It takes 5 seconds and then you definitely transfer on.”


Mike Trout was not within the lineup on Monday. Nevin stated it was the final scheduled break day of the season for the three-time American League MVP. The Angels have 15 video games left after Monday. …

Left-hander Tucker Davidson is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday in Texas. The Angels gave Davidson just a few further days after his final begin to work on a mechanical change. …

Infielder Michael Stefanic was figuring out at first base earlier than Monday’s sport. “You by no means know what can occur,” Nevin stated.


Angels (LHP Patrick Sandoval, 5-9, 2.99) at Rangers (LHP Cole Ragans, 0-2, 5.68), Tuesday, 5:05 pm, Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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