The Angels got some bad news on key righty Matt Shoemaker, announcing that he has been diagnosed with “posterior interosseous nerve syndrome.” Shoemaker received a cortisone shot for treatment and was “formally returned from his rehab assignment,” per the club’s statement.
We’ll have to wait to learn more about the outlook — clearly, that’s not a run of the mill injury diagnosis — but the team did say Shoemaker will not pick up a baseball for at least the next seven to ten days. “Once his symptoms subside,” says the club, “he will be cleared to begin a throwing progression.”
Shoemaker has already missed about three weeks with a forearm strain, and it seems this newer development will extend his absence. Even assuming he’s able to begin working back at the earliest possible time, it seems reasonable to anticipate that Shoemaker won’t be back in the majors “for at least 3-4 weeks,” Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets.
With the Halos’ rotation already dealing with numerous long-term injuries and vast uncertainty, this is most unwelcome news. On the other hand, it likely doesn’t substantially impact the organization’s approach to the trade deadline. Bolstering the staff was and is a priority, no doubt, but it’s also still rather difficult to see a path for the organization to line up a major trade involving the rotation. Greater uncertainty surrounding Shoemaker does increase the rotation need, but also downgrades the team’s outlook somewhat. But the key considerations here — thin prospect talent, big long-term contract commitments, and the upside of only a Wild Card berth — remain unaffected.