Angels righty Matt Shoemaker underwent forearm surgery earlier this summer — an operation that repaired the pronator teres tendon and also decompressed a nerve in his right arm. While that sounded ominous and called the remainder of his season into question, Shoemaker has thrown a pair of simulated games recently and tells Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register that he’s aiming to return to the Angels in September. Shoemaker has been battling injuries for much of his career and has only pitched once in the Majors since last June. As he explains it, the tendon damage in his arm was not initially revealed on an MRI and was not detected during a 2017 operation because that surgery was performed a few inches away from the tendon damage. It took exploratory surgery for doctors to discover a “split tendon,” which Shoemaker believes to have been the root of his troubles.
Some more injury news from around the league…
- The Cubs put Addison Russell on the disabled list today as a corresponding move for the activation of newly acquired Daniel Murphy. As MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat writes, the official announcement stated that a sprained left index finger was prompting the DL placement, but Russell has also been bothered by inflammation in his right shoulder. He’ll get some needed rest from the current DL stint, though there’s no indication that he’s expected to miss a prolonged period of time. There’s less certainty regarding closer Brandon Morrow, Muskat continues, explaining that the right-hander is headed for more tests on his ailing right biceps Friday and isn’t expected to return until September. Morrow has been sidelined since mid-July.
- The Cardinals announced today that left fielder Marcell Ozuna has been placed on the disabled list due to inflammation in his right shoulder. It’s a tough loss for the Cards, even if it’s only an abbreviated stint, as Ozuna had hit safely in 22 of his past 27 games, batting a combined .315/.356/.532 with six homers, four doubles and a triple in that span of 118 plate appearances. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that Ozuna’s shoulder has been problematic dating all the way back to last season. The Cardinals were aware of the issue when trading for him, Goold writes, and the team has tried to limit Ozuna’s throwing outside of a game setting throughout the season in order to lessen the stress on said shoulder.
- Michael Pineda is slated to make two more starts for the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate before joining the big league club in September, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Signed to a two-year, $10MM deal that pays him $8MM in 2019, Pineda is in the final stages of recovering from 2017 Tommy John surgery and is expected to be an important piece in Minnesota’s rotation next season. Manager Paul Molitor wouldn’t rule out giving Pineda a start or two in September but said he doesn’t plan to get him too stretched out. Berardino suggests that Pineda won’t top 75 pitches in any appearance this year.
- Padres third baseman Christian Villanueva has been diagnosed with a fractured finger and is headed to the 10-day disabled list, tweets AJ Cassavell of MLB.com. Villanueva wasn’t in today’s lineup due to some swelling in his hand after taking a tough grounder yesterday, and further testing appears to have revealed the fracture. A corresponding move will be announced tomorrow. It’s not clear how long Villanueva will be out. The 27-year-old Villanueva has utterly demolished left-handed pitching this season, hitting at an absurd .336/.392/.736 clip with 14 home runs through 113 plate appearances when holding the platoon advantage. Unfortunately, he’s mustered a feeble .189/.255/.319 slash against right-handed opponents.