LA Angels Matt Shoemaker Placed On 60 Day DL; Expected to Make Full Recovery
By Taylor Barney
LA Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker was hit in the head on a comeback hit on September 3rd. After spending some time in the hospital, and a surgery to stop some bleeding, Shoemaker is at home in recovery and is expected to make a full recovery
Matt Shoemaker took a batted ball from Kyle Seager right on the side of his head earlier this month during the LA Angels game vs. Seattle. The ball bounced off and nearly made it to the outfield. It was a frightening scene that no one ever wants to see in the game of baseball. Matt ended up having a minor skull fracture, which needed to have a surgery to stop some bleeding that was happening. Something that will only amplify the argument for having protective hats for pitchers which were tested during the last spring training.
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Kyle Seager who has had his turmoil with Angels fans in the past when he was involved with an altercation with Jered Weaver was on the other end of Shoemakers injury. Seager’s reaction and his actions after have shown nothing but respect for the Angels and Shoemaker though. Since the incident Seager has texted Shoemaker multiple times making it known how much he cared.
Shoemaker has since been put on the 60-day disabled list. Meaning he won’t pitch again this season. He has been in and out of the hospital since the incident, and had to have a surgery to stop some bleeding. With the Angels not even making a run for the playoffs, it wouldn’t make any sense to have Shoemaker pitch again this season even if he was able.
After a shaky start to the season Shoemaker was able to lower his ERA to 3.88 and a WHIP of 1.225. Neither of those come close to the numbers he posted in his rookie year, but Shoemaker had a horrible start to the year, posting a 9.15 ERA in April, so all things considered those numbers are more of an attest to the great second half he has had.
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Shoemaker is expected to make a full recovery from his injury and should be ready to go come spring training next year. The big question is if he will be able to put up the numbers next year that he has put up in the second half this year. Players coming off such a traumatic injury close to the one he suffered can be intimidating. The most recent example is Giancarlo Stanton when he was hit in the face with a pitch back in 2014. When he returned to the plate he had a protective cover on his batting helmet that covered his face. Maybe Shoemaker will return next season with one of the new protective pitching hats, which no MLB pitcher seems to want to wear yet.
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If Shoemaker can get back in his groove during spring training, I don’t see why he couldn’t be the Angels #3, #2 or even possibly the #1 starter if the Angels don’t acquire a better pitcher come starting day in 2017. Matt Shoemakers future solely lies in his hands. He has shown multiple times how dominant he can be. The only huge lingering problem with Shoemaker is his inconsistency, other than his rookie year he hasn’t had a full year of top tier pitching. If Shoemaker is able to show signs that he can pitch anything near the quality before his injury, I would fully expect him to be a force in the Angels starting five next year.