Top Los Angeles Angels prospect Logan O’Hoppe will be the starting catcher on Opening Day against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, manager Phil Nevin said.
Max Stassi, who was the probable starter heading into the season, was placed on the injured list Wednesday with hip soreness. Catcher Matt Thaiss also will be on the Opening Day roster, Nevin said.
O’Hoppe, 23, will catch Shohei Ohtani in Thursday’s opener against the A’s.
“Yeah, it’s super humbling,” O’Hoppe said. “I’d be lying If I didn’t say I looked at it and thought, ‘What the hell am I doing there?’ But I’m settling in now and I feel more comfortable and really happy to get going.”
O’Hoppe, acquired in last year’s trade that sent outfielder Brandon Marsh to the Philadelphia Phillies, made his MLB debut late last season and played in five games for the Angels.
He batted .281 in 12 games this spring with a .799 OPS after he batted .306 with a 1.147 OPS in 29 games with Double-A Rocket City last season.
“He worked his tail off all winter to be in this position and he’s earned it,” Nevin said of O’Hoppe. “A guy like Ohtani is saying this guy can really catch and I don’t mind throwing to him.”
Stassi had been away from the team for personal reasons toward the end of spring training and sustained his injury during a minor league game at Arizona on Sunday.
Nevin also said left-hander Tucker Davidson will make the roster. He was in a battle for the No. 6 starting spot with right-hander Griffin Canning, who is experiencing groin discomfort.