The Los Angeles Angels' need for offensive contributions from their catchers was so obvious that general manager Jerry Dipoto's first two personnel moves when he got the job last fall were directed at addressing that glaring deficiency.
Dipoto acquired Chris Iannetta from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for young right-hander Tyler Chatwood, then jettisoned weak-hitting catcher Jeff Mathis in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.
However, for most of this season, the offensive upgrade the Angels anticipated from their catchers didn't materialize. Iannetta suffered a broken bone in his right wrist while catching Jered Weaver's no-hitter on May 2. The wrist injury required surgery, and Iannetta complicated his recovery by pushing his rehab too fast, creating a forearm strain that set him back.
The Angels are finally seeing the expected offense from Iannetta since his return from the disabled list. In 25 games since he returned to the active roster near the end of July, Iannetta is batting .299 (23-for-77) with four home runs and 11 RBI.
"I'm just glad to be back out there, playing again and contributing," Iannetta said. "You can't take three months away and get them back."
He has heated up as he's played his way back into the everyday role. Iannetta has 17 hits in his past 45 at-bats (.378) with five multi-hit games in his past 13 starts. He went 1-for-2 with a walk Thursday in the Angels' 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.
"The first three days of my rehab assignment, I felt like I was playing on ice skates. I didn't know which end of the bat I was supposed to hold," Iannetta said. "But now I'm at the point where I'm comfortable again, and I can focus on having good at-bats."