Matt Shoemaker has a solid 3.18 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 22 2/3 total innings this season, but he yielded eight hits and three runs over five frames in a loss Saturday night to the Royals and so the Angels are going to try something different this week.
Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register reports that Shoemaker has been optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake, with 29-year-old lefty Wade LeBlanc joining the rotation in a corresponding roster move.
LeBlanc had allowed just two runs in 20 innings over his last three starts at the Triple-A level. He posted a 5.40 ERA in 55 innings (seven starts, 10 relief appearances) last year between the Astros and Marlins.
If this experiment doesn’t work out, the Angels will probably turn right back to Shoemaker.
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.
Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.
Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.
Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.
The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.