Twins right-hander Matt Shoemaker has cleared outright waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A St. Paul, reports Dan Hayes of the Athletic (Twitter link). Minnesota designated him for assignment last week.
The Twins signed Shoemaker to a one-year, $2MM deal over the winter in the hope he’d stabilize the back of the rotation. That’s not how things have played out, though, as Shoemaker has been one of the least effective pitchers in the league this season. The 34-year-old has taken the ball sixteen times (including eleven starts) but the results haven’t been there. Shoemaker has been tagged for an 8.06 ERA/5.37 SIERA across 60 1/3 innings. He has struck out just 14.1% of batters faced — by far the worst mark of his career — and he’s given up fifteen home runs. It’s the second consecutive season in which Shoemaker has given up more than two longballs per nine innings pitched, an untenable mark.
Nevertheless, there’s little harm for the Twins in giving Shoemaker a chance to try to work things out in Triple-A. Prior to 2020, he’d carved out a nice career as a solid back-of-the-rotation arm when healthy. His velocity is still in line with its range from recent seasons. Despite the lack of strikeouts, Shoemaker’s 10.3% swinging strike rate is only a little worse than league average.
As a player with more than six years of major league service, Shoemaker had the right to refuse a minor league assignment while still collecting the remainder of his guaranteed salary. He’s instead decided to stick around in the Twins system and hope to pitch his way back to Target Field before the end of the season.