The same day Drew Butera wasa traded, another former Angels catcher who was essentially replaced by Carlos Perez was at Angel Stadium. Former Angels first-round pick Hank Conger, who was traded to Houston in November for Perez and pitcher Nick Tropeano, was in town as the Astros began a four-game series in Anaheim.
The five-year veteran totaled 464 at-bats his last two seasons in Anaheim and Conger likely would have received plenty more opportunity this season given the .094 batting average Angels starter Chris Iannetta’s entered Thursday with. Perez was hitting .361 in Triple-A this season and appears in line to challenge for the starting role.
Conger said he took notice when Perez punctuated his major league debut with a walk-off home run Tuesday, but doesn’t spend time thinking about scenarios had he remained with the Angels.
“You know who you’re traded for, so you see the name pop up,” Conger said. “You can’t take back what’s happened. If you do that, you’ll drive yourself nuts. You start playing the would’ve, could’ve game… (Angels manager Mike) Scioscia gave me every opportunity to play when I was there, but I’m here now. I’m happy with my situation and I’m trying to fit the role.”
Scioscia, a two-time All-Star catcher during his playing career with the Dodgers, paid Conger a high compliment on Thursday.
“I don’t know if we’ve seen a catcher that worked as hard as Hank did,” Scioscia said, “to get to be where he’s a major league receiver.”