Matt Shoemaker Dominant for LA Angels in Return
By Vincent Page
The LA Angels starting pitching woes of the past few years continued in 2018. One of the hardest to watch was Matt Shoemaker, when he went down in late March after one start.
This was just another bump for the LA Angels and Matt Shoemaker. The bearded pitcher was undrafted, which presents a very low likelihood of making the big leagues. He went on to place second of Rookie of the Year voting in 2014.
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Shoemaker took a line drive off his skull in 2016. In 2017, he battled injuries once again. 2018 was supposed to be the year he cemented himself in the Halos’ rotation. As we know, it did not happen thanks to issues in his right forearm.
But this is just another speed bump for Shoemaker.
Shoemaker returned on Monday night and was spectacular. If it was not for a pitch limit, Shoemaker might have gone the distance. Of his 62 pitches, 42 went for strikes. He walked one batter and gave up two hits as well. As per usual Shoemaker, he allowed his defense to make the outs and struck out only three batters in his return.
While it was only against the Texas Rangers, it was a very important step for Shoemaker as he gears up for a full season in 2019. He also impressed manager Mike Scioscia, who had nothing but praise after the 31-year-old’s start.
“Matty looked like he didn’t skip a beat from what we saw when he was pitching well throughout his career,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “His stamina is not quite there, but he maintained his stuff, maintained his velocity.”
Shoemaker is arbitration eligible this season, so seeing him and the Halos settle on a low-figure deal is likely. He will be a name to watch as Garrett Richards is likely to move on from Anaheim, and miss all of 2019 after his Tommy John surgery.
Shoemaker has all the talent to be a middle-of-rotation arm, his first start is a positive step to him filling that role in 2019 for the LA Angels.