Angels righty Matt Shoemaker is now considering a surgical option as he “continues to experience progressive symptoms related to radial nerve compression,” the club announced today.
Obviously, a decision on the course of treatment has yet to be made. And it’s not entirely clear just what procedure — and what sort of outlook and timeline for a return — is under contemplation. Shoemaker had been building back toward the majors after a rest period, but was forced to halt a pen session today, according to Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter).
The 30-year-old righty last appeared for the Halos in the middle of June, and it seems increasingly likely that he may not make it back to the majors this year. He hadn’t exactly been at his best before that, with a 4.52 ERA over 77 2/3 innings on the year, but was at least giving Los Angeles much-needed innings as they deal with a barrage of pitching injuries.
Rather remarkably, the Angels have stayed in the AL Wild Card picture despite questionable work from the rotation, which has produced middle-of-the-pack results that outpace the peripherals. But the promise of late-season returns from Shoemaker and others — Tyler Skaggs, Andrew Heaney, and Garrett Richards — has held out hope of a real push for a postseason berth.
Shoemaker’s new status certainly doesn’t improve the picture, though there’s optimism still regarding the others. Both Skaggs and Heaney are due back soon. As for Richards, he was able to throw twenty pitches off of a mound today, Moura tweets, and says he has no doubt he’ll return this year as well.