After nearly five months LA Angels veteran right-hander Matt Shoemaker will step on a mound in a live game for the first time. Shoemaker will start tonight for the Inland Empire 66’ers.
With the LA Angels starting rotation decimated with injuries (only one starter remaining from the beginning of the season), the news that veteran Matt Shoemaker will be able to make a rehab start in Single-A for the Inland Empire 66’ers is music to their ears.
Shoemaker started one game this season in the first week, but has not pitched to live batters in a game since March 31st against the Oakland A’s and got the victory, but then went on the disabled list on April 3rd due to a right forearm strain. Shoemaker did not even pick up a baseball until mid-July has finally progressed to where he can pitch in a game and he will do so tonight against the Lake Elsinore Storm.
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If all goes well Shoemaker could be back in the Angels starting rotation by next week. Shoemaker has battled injuries the past three seasons that have caused him to miss significant time each year. “I’m feeling good and ready to get back,” said Shoemaker when I talked to him Tuesday afternoon before the Angels game against the Rockies.
The Angels have four total pitchers on the mend with hopes of returning before seasons end. Shohei Ohtani is also very close to returning as his bullpen session went well on Monday. When asked about a timetable for Ohtani, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, “It will be up to our medical staff on when they think he is ready. Everything has been looking good up to this point.”
Scioscia went on to mention Tyler Skaggs and Nick Tropeano and said they are still a few weeks away from being able to throw from a mound so their timetable is not set yet.
If the Angels can get a healthy Shoemaker and Ohtani back soon, it could be a big lift for the final month of the season. The team’s playoff chances are slim to none, but it will still be nice to finish the season strong for the Angels going into 2019.
Halo Hangout’s Ryan Falla will be at the Inland Empire game tonight and will be tweeting updates on the Halo Hangout twitter site @halohangout so check it out. He will also be putting a post up by tomorrow morning summarizing Shoemaker’s night including post-game comments from Shoemaker himself. So stay tuned.