Catchers in spotlight as Angels square off with Brewers

Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O’Hoppe knows that calling a good game for his pitcher is his top priority. However, the 24-year-old New York native arguably has been the Angels’ best hitter in 2024.

O’Hoppe, who has played in 61 of the Angels’ 72 games this season, is expected behind the plate when the Angels oppose the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday in Anaheim, Calif.

O’Hoppe went 1-for-4 as the Angels beat the Brewers 5-3 on Monday in the opener of a three-game series. He is showing maturity in the batter’s box, unusual for someone with his relative lack of major league experience.

He leads the team in OPS (.798) and slugging percentage (.467); ranks second in on-base percentage (.330), batting average (.280) and runs (32); sits third in doubles (11); and is tied for third in RBIs (31) and hits (60).

“He’s been swinging the bat the way we know he’s capable of,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “He’s been involved in a lot of the things we’ve been doing lately on the offensive side, so that’s good, right now. … It’s not just one or two guys that’s trying to carry the load. He’s definitely strong enough to carry the load.”

Among his recent successes, O’Hoppe had a streak of six consecutive games with an extra-base hit. He also hit a home run in San Francisco on Saturday that measured an estimated 467 feet. Only Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout have hit longer home runs in the past 2 1/2 years for the Angels.

O’Hoppe, though, downplayed the significance of the distance.

“It tied the game. That’s what made me happy about it,” he said. “Whether it goes a foot over the wall or a couple feet over the wall, it doesn’t matter. It matters how many points are on the board at the time of the game.”

Angels right-hander Griffin Canning (2-7, 5.76 ERA) will hope to receive offensive support from O’Hoppe on Tuesday. Canning is winless in his past five starts, but he hasn’t pitched poorly of late. He is 0-3 in three June starts despite pitching to a 3.79 ERA and lasting at least six innings in each outing. He has never faced the Brewers.

Right-hander Tobias Myers (3-2, 3.76 ERA) will make his ninth start (10th appearance) of the season for Milwaukee. The rookie has never faced the Angels.

Myers has won each of his starts this month. He threw eight scoreless innings of one-hit ball against the Detroit Tigers on June 7, then fired six innings and gave up one run vs. the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Brewers catcher William Contreras did not play on Monday, only the second game he missed all season. However, Contreras could be back as soon as Tuesday, having cleared concussion protocol after enduring a game-ending collision at the plate on Sunday with the Reds’ Stuart Fairchild.

“Looks like he’s going to be fine,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. “That’s no surprise. You know he can take a hit.

“He catches every day. This kid wants to play. That, in itself, is a rarity. But you take a hit like that, you’re a sitting duck and your head gets snapped.”

Contreras is a shoo-in to make the National League All-Star team, as he is hitting .305 with nine homers, 48 RBIs and an .834 OPS.

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