Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker has been shut down indefinitely after suffering a setback in his rehab from a forearm strain, he told reporters Thursday (Twitter link via Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times). Shoemaker is headed to see a nerve specialist in Missouri next week in an effort to better determine the cause of his discomfort.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” the right-hander said. “I’m pissed off. Everything felt great until I ramped up with bullpen on Sunday. Then the symptoms came back.”
The setback is the latest in an ongoing string of health issues for Shoemaker, who has pitched in just 83 1/3 innings dating back to Opening Day 2017. Shoemaker has had three separate trips to the disabled list in the past year due to forearm injuries and underwent surgery on his right forearm last August. A season prior, he was struck by a line-drive and suffered a skull fracture that ultimately required surgery to alleviate internal bleeding. As Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register explains, though, while both last year’s forearm injury and the current injury are nerve related, the current injury seems to be different than the one that plagued him in 2017.
It’s yet another tough loss for an Angels pitching staff that is currently without Nick Tropeano due to a shoulder injury and has seen J.C. Ramirez’s season cut short by Tommy John surgery. The Halos also lost righty Alex Meyer and lefty Nate Smith for the 2018 season long before it even began due to shoulder surgery (Sept. 2017 for Meyer, Jan. 2018 for Smith).
[Related: Los Angeles Angels depth chart]
Shohei Ohtani, Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Andrew Heaney and Jaime Barria are currently in the Angels’ rotation, with Parker Bridwell on the 40-man roster as a sixth option when necessary (though he’s currently in Triple-A). Former Reds lefty John Lamb is off to a nice start with their Triple-A club as he looks to put his injuries behind him, though he’s not on the 40-man roster.
The Angels already have one open spot on their 40-man roster, and at this point, Shoemaker has been on the disabled list for 40 days and clearly won’t be activated before hitting the 60-day mark. As such, the Angels should be able to make two depth adds whenever they see fit — be they internal or from outside the organization — by using their vacant spot and by transferring Shoemaker to the 60-day disabled list.