Los Angeles Angels send Matt Shoemaker to minors


Matt Shoemaker has been living the last two months on thin ice as he has struggled to find the same success as he had in 2014.  For Shoemaker who had a Cinderella-like season as a 27-year old rookie in 2014 finishing 16-4 with a 3.04, 2015 has been more like Nightmare on Gene Autry Way as he has gone 5-9 with 4.76 ERA. Shoemaker has been victimized by the long ball giving up 21 home runs in 21 117.1 innings compared to only 14 last year in 136 innings.  Unfortunately, for Shoemaker his slipper just broke as he was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake City as his last two starts seemed to seal his fate giving up 13 runs in 7.1 innings.

Shoemaker has fought hard all season to find his 2014 form.  In late May Shoemaker found himself with a 3-4 record and a 6.29 ERA on the verge of being moved to the bullpen.  Over his next four starts Shoemaker lowered his ERA to 4.85 in mid-June, which seemed to be enough to save Shoemaker’s spot in the rotation, coupled with the fact that the Angels Jered Weaver went down with a hip injury that landed Weaver on the disabled list.  Shoemaker continued to have success all of July posting a 1.79 ERA in the month.  After his first start in August Shoemaker sat at 5-7 with a 4.01 ERA, which was a far cry from his 2014 numbers, but a huge improvement from where he was in May.  If that wasn’t enough to keep Shoemaker in the rotation the loss of C.J. Wilson to a left elbow injury all but solidified his spot.  However, the aforementioned last two starts as part of a 1-6 road trip that has knocked the Angels out of a playoff spot was too much for Matt Shoemaker to withstand as the Angels have decided to try a different option come Thursday when Shoemaker’s spot in the rotation comes up.

The most likely candidate to fill the vacant spot in the rotation is Nick Tropeano who is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts earlier this season.

Will Nick Tropeano get a shot to earn a rotation spot as he is the most likely replacement for Matt Shoemaker in the Los Angeles Angels rotation. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

So the question is what will the Angels do with Shoemaker going forward?  More than likely he will remain in Triple-A until the end of August when the roster expands from 25 to 40.  In September, Shoemaker could end up being a long man in the Angels bullpen.  If Tropeano does not pitch well in his role as the fifth starter, Shoemaker could make a return to that spot. However with all the young pitching the Angels have in the minors in Tropeano, and phenom Sean Newcombe, plus Tyler Skaggs who should be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and it looks like Shoemaker’s days in Angels red may be numbered.  The only way I see Shoemaker in an Angel uniform in 2016 is out of the bullpen and that is probably a long shot.  It is too bad as Matt Shoemaker was a great feel good story making it to the majors as a 27-year old rookie in 2014 and is one of the nicest guys in the game. But I guess in this case the old adage is true “Nice guys finish last”.

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