Shoemaker threw 60 pitches during an intrasquad game Thursday, Laura Armstrong of The Toronto Star reports. While he did allow homers to Bo Bichette and Rowdy Tellez, the veteran right-hander was otherwise sharp, firing 42 pitches for strikes. While the Jays will likely have a number of starters on limited pitch counts to begin the season, Shoemaker doesn't appear as though he'll be one of them. "He deserves a lot of credit. These past three months he was throwing the whole time and staying in shape," manager Charlie Montoyo said before the game.
Shoemaker has been able to throw regularly at a bullpen facility near his home while the season remains suspended, Gregor Chisholm of The Toronto Star reports. Keeping his arm in shape is important for Shoemaker -- the veteran right-hander has thrown only 137.1 innings over the last three seasons due to a variety of injuries, so ramping back up quickly and safely once MLB resumes operations could be a bigger challenge for him than other pitchers. Assuming he doesn't break down again, however, Shoemaker's expected to fill a mid-rotation role for the Jays in 2020.
Shoemaker walked one batter and struck out four over four no-hit, scoreless innings in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Phillies. The right-hander has had incredibly bad injury luck since 2017, pitching a total of 137.1 innings over the last three seasons, but Shoemaker is healthy this spring and seems intent on proving he's more than just a journeyman. The 33-year-old has a 0.00 ERA, 0.30 WHIP and 9:1 K:BB through 6.2 innings, and he's on track to fill in a mid-rotation spot behind Hyun-Jin Ryu for the Jays.
Shoemaker recorded eight outs, five of which came via strikeout, while allowing just a single hit and no runs in his spring debut Monday against the Pirates. The veteran looked great in his first appearance since tearing his ACL last April. He picked off the only runner who reached base against him Monday.
Shoemaker will make his spring debut Monday against the Pirates, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports. Shoemaker's 2019 campaign was cut short in late April due to a torn ACL, though the injury happened early enough in the season that it appears he'll be ready for Opening Day this year. It's unwise to overreact to the veteran's five-start sample last season, but his 1.57 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in those starts were certainly excellent marks. His 3.95 FIP and 4.46 xFIP caution against getting too excited, however.
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