Coming off a disappointing 2015 campaign, Matt Shoemaker stepped back into the spotlight as one of the Angels' better rotation options. Following a horrific month of April, the right-hander posted an excellent 3.10 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 127:20 K:BB in 22 starts thereafter. Unfortunately, his season came to a screeching halt in early September after he was hit in the head by a line drive, keeping him on the shelf for the remainder of the season. The 30-year-old was released from the hospital shortly after the incident and all CT scans came back negative, so he should be good to go for 2017. Shoemaker doesn't overwhelm anyone with his pitch offerings, as his 91.5 mph fastball was actually the fastest rate of his career, but his command and outstanding changeup could help him continue to see success in the Angels rotation and as helpful fantasy rotation depth in mixed leagues.
Shoemaker twirled four innings of shutout ball Tuesday, striking out two in a loss to the Royals. This was Shoemaker's best showing since returning from a skull fracture he suffered late last season. He needed just 41 pitches to make it through his four innings of work. The right-hander has struck out 10 batters over nine innings this spring and is improving with each start. Shoemaker will look to pick up where he left off last season when he posted a 3.00 ERA post-All-Star break.
Shoemaker made his Cactus League debut Friday, giving up two runs on two hits while walking two and striking out a pair over two innings in a 7-6 win over Milwaukee. This was Shoemaker's first start since being struck in the head with a line drive last September. He was already pitching to live hitters in camp, and there were no reported ill effects from the injury. Shoemaker offers a unique blend of control and an ability to strike batters out (4.8 K/BB in 2016). He has a career 3.75 ERA and 3.76 FIP, so he won't cost an arm and a leg in drafts, but he offers a bit of upside over other mid-rotation fantasy starters in his tier.
Shoemaker is starting his first Cactus League game of this spring training Friday, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports. The right-hander's 2016 season ended when he was hit in the head by a line drive in early September, but his recovery has been smooth, allowing him to enter game action with plenty of time to prepare for the 2017 season. His ERA may trend a bit higher than most owners would like, but the Shoe held some of the most underrated command peripherals in the game last year, thanks to a velocity increase that allowed him to get the most out of his dangerous changeup. Fantasy owners targeting late-round mixed league arms should put his name in bold.
Shoemaker pitched to live hitters for the first time since being struck in the head with a line drive and suffering a skull fracture last September and "felt great," Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Shoemaker reported to camp healthy after undergoing offseason surgery and Wednesday's live session was another step in the right direction. He pitched with a protective piece inserted into his hat and reported no issues of discomfort. It is looking more and more like the head issue is completely behind him and we can treat Shoemaker like the solid middle of a rotation fantasy asset he was prior to his injury. With a 4.8 K/BB ratio, there is a possibility he could be even more than what he has shown so far in his young career.
Shoemaker (head) reported to camp and said he feels 100 percent, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. He missed the end of the 2016 season after getting hit in the head with a line drive in early September, resulting in a small skull fracture. He participated in full offseason workouts and was cleared for normal pitching activity last month, so it seems he is ready to go for spring. He posted a solid 2.83 ERA in 130.1 innings before the injury.