Matt Shoemaker Will Need To Locate Consistency

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Updated: April 11, 2017

Right-handed pitcher Matt Shoemaker’s tenure with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has been one that consists of a stead dose of highs and lows. Without a doubt, his rookie year is the high point in his career. He went 16-4 and carried an astounding .800 winning percentage in what was not even a full season’s worth of work. As a result of his efforts, Shoemaker finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. Not too shabby for a first timer.

However, his 2015 campaign did not treat him with the same amount of kindness. His ERA ballooned to 4.46 that year, and, additionally, Shoemaker finished with not even half the amount of wins he attained in 2014. When last season is mulled over, a little bit of 2014 and 2015 were seen. A worse version of 2015 was seen in the juvenile stages of last year (which ultimately led to a temporary demotion to AAA ball). In spite of that, he pitched extremely well until his freak injury cut his comeback efforts short. Ultimately, he had a 3.88 ERA and picked up 143 strikeouts in 160 innings of labor.

In 2017 it is tough to truly analyze the Shoe given that he has only pitched a pair of games. Still, as has been the case so far in his time with the Angels’ organization, he has not shown strong signs of consistency. His first two starts validate that claim very much so.

The 30-year-old took the mound for the ball club in their second game versus the Oakland A’s. He made it through 5 innings, while giving up a total of 3 walks and 2 earned runs. Although the stat line is not terrible per se, the two earned runs both came via the long ball. It may seem unfair to criticize the right-hander, but the home run aspect is not necessarily wonderful to catch a glimpse of. It is nothing new, either. Last year he gave up 18 of them and the year before that the number sits at 24. Overall, though, he gets a passing grade on his first start of 2017.

In yesterday’s contest, though, the overall numbers were not as pretty. The team may have won after making an incredibly rare, monster comeback, but it does not excuse the mediocre performance. This time around the Shoe did not even last through 5 innings. Albeit he only coughed up one long ball this time around, he gave up 6 earned runs. Shoemaker only had a single punch out as well. Strikeouts are not always everything, yet a rise in that department is fair to expect.

There is plenty of time left. The bearded hurler will have time to establish more of a rhythm. However, Shoemaker will have to starting getting further into games let alone finding that aforestated rhythm. The Halos’ rotation does not have too much quality, proven depth. Consequently, Shoemaker needs to step things up a notch in the time to come.

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