Angels, Guardians look to the future in series finale

Angels, Guardians look to the future in series finale

The Los Angeles Angels and visiting Cleveland Guardians both will feature rookie starting pitchers in the finale of their four-game series Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.

Cleveland may have an advantage as their starter, right-hander Tanner Bibee, is a fringe candidate for American League Rookie of the Year, while lefty Kenny Rosenberg has only made two MLB starts for the Angels.

The Guardians (68-75) are 7 1/2 games back in the American League Central with just 19 games remaining, while the injury-plagued Angels are 66-77.

That makes it a good time for both teams to have a look at their young players. The Angels started four rookies Friday and three Saturday.

One rookie who impressed both teams’ managers is Angels catcher Logan O’Hoppe, who homered for the second straight game on Saturday, a 6-2 win. He missed 104 games after going on the 60-day injured list, but stayed with the team while recovering from left shoulder surgery.

“It was valuable for Logan to be out here for those three or four months,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “All season he was charting pitches and watching the game with us.”

What caught Cleveland manager Terry Francona’s eye was the 100.8 mph, 396-foot homer O’Hoppe crushed off veteran Lucas Giolito in the first inning.

“This winter, (O’Hoppe’s) name came up a lot,” Francona said. “He’s a good looking young strong catcher — and when you hit the ball the opposite way like that, you’re doing something right.”

O’Hoppe was acquired last year from the Philadelphia Phillies in a trade for Brandon Marsh and leads Nevin’s group of rookies — including shortstop Zach Neto, first baseman Nolan Schanuel and reliever Ben Joyce — who will be a big part of the Angels‘ 2024 plans.

“Hopefully this is a sign of things to come,” O’Hoppe said. “It’s going to be great being part of this young core of players here for years to come.”

Bibee (10-3, 3.05 ERA) has struck out 129 hitters in 129 2/3 innings in his rookie year. He struck out seven Angels on May 14, going 7 2/3 innings without a walk and allowing just a run on two hits.

The 28-year-old Rosenberg (0-1, 5.54) is coming off a quality start Monday against the Baltimore Orioles. The left-hander. who struck out 120 batters in 100 innings at Triple-A this year, has never faced Cleveland.

The Guardians are still without injured starting pitchers Triston McKenzie and Shane Bieber, due to return around Sept. 20.

Cleveland right-fielder Ramon Laureano came out of Saturday’s game after crashing into the low wall by the foul pole while chasing Randal Grichuk’s opposite-field homer in the eighth inning.

Francona said Laureano “kind of jammed his thumb, but he’s going to be OK.”

For the Angels, Shohei Ohtani missed his sixth straight game with right oblique tightness.

“He said probably one more day would be good,” Nevin said. “If not (Sunday), Monday in Seattle. It’s a day-to-day thing.”

Angels utilityman Luis Rengifo suffered a ruptured left biceps tendon and is lost for the season. Outfielder Mickey Moniak remains day-to-day with a sore back.

Schanuel, who has an Angels franchise record of reaching base in all of his first 17 games since his Aug. 18 major league debut, is also day-to-day with a tight right shoulder.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.