The Los Angeles Angels are likely currently praying that they can stop their 6-16 game skid tonight against the Kansas City Royals or at the very least, when they begin a four-game series against the 55-60 Chicago White Sox on Monday night. They currently sit three games, three and a half should they lose tonight, behind the Houston Astros in the American League West. The Rangers are creeping up on them in the West sitting only a game (or potentially a half-game) behind them and the Angels are clinging to a Wild Card spot tied, just above the Rangers and Minnesota Twins, with the Baltimore Orioles.
There’s more news today that makes the Angels’ position in the race for the postseason even more precarious. Matt Shoemaker, who burst onto the scene last season going 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, has been optioned to Triple-A with no replacement for him in the rotation yet announced. Last season many thought that the now 28-year-old was pitching above his ceiling given his minor league numbers but that didn’t bother the Angels’ last season as they won the AL Western Division Title.
This year, however, Shoemaker is 5-9 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. In his last two starts Shoemaker has allowed 13 runs and 16 hits, including four homers, in 7 1/3 innings of his last two starts. In his most recent start the Kansas City Royals, Shoemaker was knocked out of the game after in the second inning. He threw 34 pitches to 10 batters and retired two of them, one on a sacrifice bunt during what was a “nightmare” of an inning for Shoemaker and today the right-hander finds himself back in the minor leagues.
His demotion is a bit surprising and a huge red flag for the Angels in their quest for the postseason. They’ve yet to announce his replacement, although they did promote pitchers Cam Bedrosian and Mike Morin to the big league club Sunday. Neither right-hander has been a regular starter in the Majors or the Minors which indicates that they are not likely to replace Shoemaker, whose next start would have been scheduled for Thursday, in the rotation.
So now, what are the Angels options for their rotation? Can they find a way to replace Shoemaker? – To find out more you can read my full post on Today’s Knuckleball using the link below: