Trout, O'Hoppe nearing Major League return

August 18th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Rhett Bollinger’s Angels Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ANAHEIM -- The Angels will get some reinforcements soon, as superstar is nearing a return from his left hamate fracture and catcher recently moved up to Triple-A Salt Lake as part of his rehab assignment. 

Trout, who sustained the fracture on a swing on July 3, was scheduled to face live pitching as early as Thursday, which was his final step in his return. Trout, a three-time AL MVP and 11-time All-Star, isn’t expected to need a rehab assignment before he’s reinstated and could return this homestand if he faces live pitching without any issues. 

Trout, 32, has hit .262/.369/.493 with 18 homers, 14 doubles and 44 RBIs in 81 games this season. The injury was expected to keep Trout out roughly four to eight weeks and Trout is at the six-week mark. 

“We’re gonna move forward with some of the things he’s been doing,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said Wednesday. “He feels like he’s really close [to a return].”

O’Hoppe, meanwhile, spent last week with Single-A Inland Empire, hitting .316 with three doubles and three RBIs in six games. He was moved up to Triple-A Salt Lake and went 1-for-2 on Tuesday and 2-for-3 on Wednesday.

O’Hoppe, ranked as the club’s No. 1 prospect and the No. 31 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, has been out since April 20 after suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He was expected to be out four to six months but is on track to return on the early end of that spectrum.

He’s expected to continue his rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake until the middle of next week, as he’s on target to rejoin the Angels for their series against the Mets in New York on Aug. 25.

It would be a fitting return for the Long Island, N.Y., native, as he sustained his shoulder injury on a swing at Yankee Stadium. It would also be a boost for the Angels, as the rookie was hitting .283/.339/.547 with four homers and 13 RBIs in 16 games before suffering the injury.

“He feels really good and really healthy and you guys know him, he wants go to now,” Nevin said. “But we’re treating it kind of like the Spring Training we had a couple years ago when it was a quick ramp up. But he feels good and he keeps accelerating with his stuff.”