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Max Stassi To Open Season On IL Due To Hip Inflammation

Max Stassi To Open Season On IL Due To Hip Inflammation

The White Sox placed catcher Max Stassi on the 10-day injured list this afternoon due to hip inflammation, per a club announcement. The club also recalled catcher Korey Lee from Triple-A Charlotte. Lee had previously been optioned to the minor leagues last week as Chicago settled on Stassi and Martin Maldonado as their catching tandem to open the season, but Stassi’s injury will instead create an opportunity for Lee to break camp with the club.

That Stassi is dealing with a hip issue is particularly concerning given the fact that he missed considerable time last season due to a hip strain that prevented him from taking the field with the Angels to open the year. While Stassi missed the entire 2023 campaign, only the first half of that absence was due to his hip injury; Stassi recovered from that issue midseason, but he and his wife revealed back in November that the three-months premature birth of their son necessitated Stassi to step away from the game and attend to his family for the remainder of the 2023 campaign. While it’s concerning to see him once again hit the IL due to hip problems, White Sox manager Pedro Grifol told reporters (as relayed by ESPN) today that Stassi is just “a little sore” after the long layoff from major league play and is still “getting his work done” despite the fact that he’ll open the season on the shelf.

Stassi, 33, was a fourth-round pick by the A’s in the 2009 draft. Upon making his big league debut with the Astros back in 2013, he spent several years as a reserve catcher shuttling between Triple-A and the majors; he appeared in just 44 games in the big leagues across his first five major league seasons. He took on a larger role with Houston in 2018, however, and made the most of the opportunity by hitting a respectable .226/.316/.394 (100 wRC+) in 88 games with the club that year while posting elite defensive numbers behind the plate.

Despite that solid performance, Stassi’s playing time with the Astros was once again limited by the arrival of Robinson Chirinos, and the club ended up dealing Stassi to their division rival in Anaheim. He took his game to another level with the Angels during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, maintaining that strong defense while slashing .250/.333/.452 with a 113 wRC+. Unfortunately, Stassi took a major step back in 2022, posting just a .180/.267/.303 (63 wRC+) slash line while his defensive metrics slipped from excellent to merely average behind the plate.

Between Stassi’s…

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