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OC Register: Angels pitchers have quickly become fans of catcher Logan O’Hoppe


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BOSTON — Tyler Anderson started to walk away after a brief interview in which he was complimenting rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe’s work behind the plate.

Then, the veteran left-hander turned around and returned to add one more comment.

“He’s really good, and he wants to be good,” Anderson said. “Some players are good because they’re good, and some players are good because they want to be good. They care a lot. He cares a lot.”

Anderson described why Angels pitchers have grown so fond of the 23-year-old so quickly.

“I just feel like the first couple times I talked to him, he was already good, but I feel like he’s just made a lot of strides,” said Anderson, a 33-year-old in his eighth major league season. “Anything you tell him, he soaks it in. … He works his butt off. He’s just working to get better at everything he does. From the first bullpen he caught in spring, to the first game, he continues to get better every time and he was already solid.”

Left-hander Aaron Loup, a 35-year-old in his 12th major league season, had similar feelings about O’Hoppe.

“He works his (butt) off,” Loup said. “He makes it a point to go around to most of the pitchers and see what they like to do and how they like to pitch and then he takes that, applies that to the scouting reports he’s got and figures out the best way to go about it. He’s been really good. I’ve been very impressed.”

Manager Phil Nevin said O’Hoppe has worked especially well with Shohei Ohtani. Even though Ohtani calls his own pitches, Nevin said O’Hoppe takes what he learns from Ohtani’s games to his game-calling with the other pitchers.

“There are going to be times where (the game) speeds up a little bit, but they’ve been few and far between, and a lot less than what I anticipated,” Nevin said.

Through the first 12 games, the Angels had a 2.90 ERA in the 10 games that O’Hoppe started.

“Behind the plate, I feel great, but that’s because of the pitchers,” O’Hoppe said. “I only feel as good as they throw.”

The Angels believe O’Hoppe’s primary job is what he does with the pitchers, but he’s also providing a bonus at the plate.

He was leading the team with four home runs and 11 RBIs heading into Friday’s game, to go with a .936 OPS.

“I feel alright at the plate,” O’Hoppe said. “I’m working on a few things. I don’t think I’ve hit a groove yet.”

HOMECOMING

O’Hoppe said this trip to Boston and New York is special for him because he grew up on Long Island. He has plenty of friends and family who will be watching him in person this week.

O’Hoppe said he was at Fenway Park for Derek Jeter’s final game in 2014, and he also played in the park once while he was in high school. He said he actually had the same locker that he was assigned this weekend.

Yankee Stadium will be even more emotional for O’Hoppe.

“It’s special for me and my parents,” O’Hoppe said. “They took me to games growing up and I went alone when I was old enough to drive. Every game I went there, it reminded me that I want to be here and play in games for real, so it’s going to be pretty surreal when I get to do it.”

WALSH UPDATE

Nevin said first baseman Jared Walsh has left the facility in Utah where he was undergoing treatment for headaches and insomnia, but they still will not have more clarity on a timetable for his return until sometime in the middle of next week.

Walsh has missed the first two weeks of the season so far. His baseball work has been limited, so he’ll need some time to get up to speed before he can return to the active roster.

NOTES

Nevin said a few days ago that he expected Mike Trout to get a day off during this four-game series, but on Friday he wasn’t sure if he would do that. “We’ll see how it goes,” Nevin said. He added that, if they are going to give Trout a day off, it might make sense to do it on Monday, because the Patriots’ Day game starts at 11 a.m., which is 8 a.m. PT. That’s the game Ohtani is scheduled to pitch. …

Gio Urshela got the day off on Friday. Nevin said he felt Urshela, 31, could benefit more than the other infielders from getting two straight days off, including Thursday’s off day. …

David Fletcher was credited with a hit via a scoring change. Fletcher reached on a bunt on April 7. The play was initially scored as a sacrifice and an error. …

Matt Thaiss is scheduled to start at catcher on Saturday. It would be his third start of the season.

UP NEXT

Angels (LHP Tyler Anderson, 1-0, 4.22) at Red Sox (RHP Nick Pivetta, 0-1, 0.90), Saturday, 1:10 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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