Through two games of the regular season, the Los Angeles Angels‘ pitching staff has been nothing short of a mess.
But within their early struggles, reliever Matt Shoemaker has stood out with his performance on Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners as he threw 2.1 innings of shutout relief with one hit allowed and two strikeouts. This also included retiring seven of the eight batters he faced with his only hit given up to Robinson Cano.
Shoemaker made the Opening Day 25-man roster due to the fact that he can make long relief appearances, like he did on Tuesday, but he is expected to be sent down to triple-A Salt Lake once Dane De La Rosa returns from his forearm that he hurt at the beginning of spring training. De La Rosa is reportedly targeting the Angels’ series against the New York Mets from April 11-13.
But with that said, Shoemaker is taking advantage of the opportunity he has to showcase to Los Angeles that he is a player to watch down the road. If De La Rosa is unable to get back as soon as expected, the 27-year-old could play a vital part of the Angels’ bullpen early on in the season if the team’s starting pitching continues to struggle as it did on Tuesday with C.J. Wilson‘s shaky start. He allowed six runs on eight hits, and two walks in 5.2 innings pitched.
Although his time at the majors will likely be limited by De La Rosa’s imminent return, Shoemaker is off to a great start in making his case for a possible call up if the Angels need bullpen help or an extra arm due to an injury.