While he wasn’t in the lineup Wednesday night, Yuba City High product Max Stassi has returned to the Los Angeles Angels active roster following a knee injury that kept him out over a week.
It’s not the first injury he has sustained in his 8-year pro career. He’s been hit by a pitch in the face as a member of the Houston Astros.
Baseball players are traditionally tough, especially catchers, which Stassi has played nearly all his life dating back to his days as a YC Honker.
Stassi is one of two active catchers on the roster and has played in 20 of the team’s 43 games in 2020. He’s hitting .250 (13-for-52) – a career-best average based on at least 50 at-bats – and has socked four home runs with 11 RBI for the halos, who are 17-27 following Wednesday night’s 7-3 loss at Texas.
Two years ago with Houston, Stassi, a 2009 Yuba City graduate and former Gold Sox star, hit .226 in 88 games and 221 at-bats.
His worst year came the year he was traded when Stassi hit .167 (15-for-90) in 31 games for the Astros in 2019.
But now he has found a home in Los Angeles, presumably for the near future after opening-day starter Jason Castro was traded to San Diego this year prior to the deadline.
Stassi is alongside fellow backstop stopper Anthony Bemboom, who played Wednesday against right-hander Kyle Cody.
Stassi, who hits from the right side, seems to always get the starts against lefties.
However, if you ask anyone locally, Stassi is the premier defensive catcher and has been during his whole professional career.
“He frames as good as anyone in Major League Baseball,” said Joe Graben, a former Yuba City High assistant when Max was belting homers for the Honkers from 2006-2009.
Stassi and the Angels wrap up the series with the Rangers beginning at 1:05 p.m. Thursday for a regional only broadcast. On Friday, L.A. opens a set in Colorado against the Rockies and another former Yuba City star, Darryl Scott (Colorado’s bullpen coach).