LA Angels Matt Shoemaker finally makes his first rehab start

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 31: Matt Shoemaker
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 31: Matt Shoemaker /

LA Angels starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker made his first pitching appearance since March 31st of this year after going down with forearm issues. In his rehab apperance with the Inland Empire 66ers, Shoemaker looked back in full-form as he glided through 4 innings of no hit baseball while striking out 6.

LA Angels starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker made a rehab start with the Angels MiLB affiliate, the Inland Empire 66ers. This outing marks his first appearance since March 31st of this year, an outing which saw him earn a win in 5.2 innings of work against the Oakland A’s. In that game Shoemaker struck out 4 and walked 4 while allowing 3 runs on 4 hits. It was his only appearance in the 2018 Major League season as he soon went down with nerve issues in his pitching forearm.

Shoemaker aimed for 60-70 pitches in this rehab start, on the night throwing 59 pitches (37 for strikes) across 4 innings of work. In total he struck out 6 and walked two while allowing no earned runs.

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Shoemaker came out strong in the first, despite opening the game with a very wide ball that could have gone for a Wild Pitch was it not saved by catcher Franklin Navarro. Following that first pitch the rest of the outing came pretty uniform, Shoemaker retiring all three in a row in the 1st on a fly-out, strikeout, and groundout on 9 pitches (7 for strikes).

In his second inning Shoemaker opened the frame with a walk before immediately procuring a 4-6-3 double play on the first pitch of the next at-bat, finishing the 2nd with a K. The  1st, 3rd, and 4th innings were all perfect frames.

Shoemaker got in some trouble in the 5th inning which saw him exit early after a fielding error, wild pitch, and walk..

Despite the injury that’s sidelined him for the majority of the season Shoemaker looked ready to go in this outing, his fastball sitting at 93-94 MPH with Shoemaker touching 95 MPH. His splitter and slider looked very sharp on the night.

Matt Shoemaker RHP #52

H.H: How did your arm feel when you started pitching tonight?

Shoemaker: Overall it felt really good. Physically it felt good, maybe I was battling a few things mechanically but sometimes that happens. Just got to work through it.

H.H: How was the command of your pitches?

Shoemaker: Pretty good; the fastball wasn’t where I wanted, but the other pitches were pretty good.

H.H: What’s been the most difficult part of this recovery process for you?

Shoemaker: Just not being able to play. You never want to get injured. Things happen, you gotta stay positive and work through it. I’d say definitely the toughest thing is not being out there with your team competing and trying to win.

H.H: So you’re feeling good at this point in your rehab?

Shoemaker: Yeah I feel really good. I got through the amount of pitches we wanted to get through. Just wanna keep getting better and build off this.

8/29/18 Pitching Line (w/Inland Empire 66ers): 4 IP 0H/1R/0ER/2BB/6Ks

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Shoemaker looks to rejoin the Angels following this start, if there are no sudden setbacks or organizational decisions. There’s no word yet on the next step in his rehab process, stay turned for more updates as news releases.